Two voters have withdrawn their objections against Republican Catalina Lauf’s candidacy paperwork in the 14th Congressional District race.
Lauf on Saturday spoke of the development in an email that was prefaced with the subject line: “The swamp rats thought they had us.”
“They are terrified of us in this race, and they are going to stop at nothing and use every dirty trick in the book to try and keep our campaign out of this race,” Lauf said in the email.
Lauf could not be reached for a direct comment on Monday.
The objections against 26-year-old Lauf were filed by Greg Nichols of Plainfield and Justin Robert Nudo of Pingree Grove. Specifically, the men questioned the validity of signatures that were collected by a circulator whom they claimed improperly listed her address on an official affidavit.
The board reviewed candidate petition records on Friday, but the objections were withdrawn before the matter was scheduled for an administrative hearing and final decision, Matt Dietrich, spokesman for the Illinois State Board of Elections, said on Monday.
The objector’s attorney, Matthew Welch, wrote in a motion to withdraw the objections that Lauf would have been able to prove the circulator’s address and retain more than enough signatures to remain on the ballot.
“Although objectors’ attorney agrees that results appearing on the objection summary report are less than ideal, 35% of the signatures objected to were stricken,” Welch wrote. “After the records examination, over 10% of signatures submitted by [Lauf] as valid signatures have been deemed invalid.”
Lauf’s campaign team has chalked up the situation to a “dirty political game,” Kristin Davison, her campaign general consultant, said on Monday.
“After going through the process on the 27th, it was clear they had no ground to stand on,” she said.
Republican candidates running for the 14th Congressional District – which includes parts of Lake, McHenry, Kane, DeKalb, Kendall, DuPage and Will counties – in the 2020 primary were required to submit 961 signatures, or 0.5% of qualified party primary voters in the district.
Lauf faces state Rep. Jim Oberweis, R-Sugar Grove; state Sen. Sue Rezin, R-Morris; financial futures trader Ted Gradel of Naperville; Kendall County Republican Chairman James Marter; Jerry Evans of Warrenville; and Anthony Catella of St. Charles in the primary election.
All seven are running to unseat freshman U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Naperville, who is running unopposed as a Democrat in the primary.
Lauf took to Twitter on Sunday and promised to “expose” the campaign behind the objection filing.
“To my GOP primary opponents – if you did this, you are no better than the Democrats,” Lauf said in a tweet Sunday. “No surprise considering you are all Never-Trumpers, Swamp IL Establishment. To the Democrats, if you did this, thank you for showing me I’m your biggest threat against Lauren Underwood.”