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Ill. objection to Hardiman candidacy withdrawn

SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Pat Quinn’s lone rival in the Democratic primary can stay on the ballot after objections to his candidacy were dropped Thursday.

The Democratic governor’s campaign lawyer, who represented three objectors to Tio Hardiman’s ticket, said “it wasn’t worth the effort” to continue contesting the candidacy because of what he considers Hardiman’s long-shot candidacy.

The Illinois State Board of Elections was set to decide the matter Thursday. Objectors had said Hardiman, a Hillside resident and former director of the Chicago nonprofit CeaseFire, had not gathered enough signatures and that his running mate, Chicago lawyer Brunell Donald, was not properly registered to vote.

“We didn’t want extended litigation. We didn’t want complaints from the candidates,” said Burton Odelson, an Evergreen Park attorney. “It just wasn’t worth the effort.”

State records filed Wednesday indicate Quinn has $4.5 million in the bank for the campaign, compared with $550 for Hardiman.

Hardiman remained undaunted.

“I will run a credible campaign. I have a lot of boots on the ground ... throughout the state,” Hardiman said. “This campaign should not come down to who has the most money. The people’s voices should be heard. It should come down to what the people want.”

Quinn’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

Both a State Board of Elections hearing officer and the board’s attorney recommended to the board that Hardiman be allowed to remain on the ballot after finding he had collected the required number of petition signatures.

The two experts differed on the fate of Donald. Goodman recommended she be disqualified because she had moved and was not properly registered to vote in the last primary, in spring 2012.

But Sandvoss found that Donald met the criteria because federal law and state rules would have allowed Donald to cast a ballot in that election despite her moving.

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