Challenged candidate says county found he has enough valid petition signatures

Flossmoor’s electoral board is expected to reach a decision on petition challenges to a village board candidate at a continued hearing this week.

David Bruni, the candidate facing a challenge, says Cook County determined last week that he has enough valid signatures on his petitions to qualify for the April 2 election.
The electoral board will meet at 9 a.m. Jan. 18 at Flossmoor Village Hall, 2800 Flossmoor Road, Mayor Paul Braun told the H-F Chronicle Saturday. According to state law, Braun chairs the three-member board, which is empowered to oversee local election issues. The other board members are Village Clerk Joni Bradley-Scott and Trustee Philip Minga.
On Jan. 2, the board started the hearing into challenges to petitions filed by Bruni, who has declared his village board candidacy in the consolidated election. Two incumbent trustees – Perry Hoag and James Mitros – each filed five mostly identical challenges to Bruni’s candidacy.
The board threw out three of the objections – they had to do with the numbering of pages, the official name of the election and whether Bruni’s signature should have been included in a box on the petition pages. The board upheld an objection regarding the binding of the petitions and that may be grounds for Bruni being removed from the ballot. 
But the board delayed action on what is most likely the most significant of the objections – the charge by Hoag and Mitros that 11 signatures were not valid and came from persons who are either not registered voters or do not live at the address listed on the petitions. 
Of those 11 signatures, three belong to Homewood residents and were immediately ruled invalid. Electoral board members asked that Cook County election officials review the eight remaining signatures, which Bruni and his attorney Patrick Keating said were legitimate.
On Jan. 8, the Cook County Clerk’s Office reviewed the petitions. Bruni said that all but one of the eight contested signatures were ruled valid, giving him a total of 133 signatures.
“We are thrilled to announce that the Cook County Clerk’s Office concluded that we indeed have more than enough valid signatures to put me on the ballot as a candidate for trustee,” Bruni said.” I would kindly ask the Electoral Board of Flossmoor to allow my candidacy to move forward.”  
To qualify as a candidate, Bruni must have at least 131 valid signatures on his petitions. If the challenges to the 11 signatures from Hoag and Mitros are upheld, Bruni’s total would be four short of what he needs to be on the ballot.
Three trustee seats are on the ballot in this year’s municipal election. Hoag, Mitros and Gyata Kimmons will be on the ballot. Bruni may be the fourth candidate.

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