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Ruling against would-be presidential candidate

CHICAGO (AP) — A judge in Chicago has ruled against an Illinois man who filed a lawsuit accusing officials of violating his rights by refusing to put his name on the presidential ballot after he fell short of the 25,000 petition signatures required.

And just how short off the mark was Michael W. Hawkins?

He was 24,999 signatures short. He had just one.

U.S. District Judge Charles Kocoras ruled this week the Illinois State Board of Elections properly rejected the Bridgeview man's inclusion.

Reached by telephone Friday, Hawkins expressed disappointment in the 10-page ruling — saying it was the nation's loss. He says a new party he created, the "Together Enhancing America" party, had plans to create 75 million jobs.

The 55-year-old said hundreds of signed petitions got lost in the mail.

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