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Severson's run for state rep being challenged

Hearing for the objection is set for Dec. 17

Published: Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013 9:59 p.m. CDT

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Ron Severson’s run for state representative in the March primary is being challenged, perhaps by his own political party.

“My petition, within an hour of me filing, was looked at and now has been objected to,” Severson, a Republican, said. “I just think it’s Chicago politics being dragged out here.”

A Morris resident and the current chairman of the Grundy County Board, Severson filed his petition Nov. 27 in Springfield to run in the GOP primary for state representative for the 75th District. He is challenging John Anthony, of Plainfield, who was appointed to the seat in August to replace Republican Pam Roth after she resigned to move to Texas with her family.

At 3:18 p.m. Nov. 27, a John Fogarty requested to view or copy Severson’s petitions, according to the website of the Illinois State Board of Elections. An Internet search found a John Fogarty – listed at the same business address as on the board of election’s website for the person who requested Severson’s petitions – who is a Chicago attorney. The biography on his firm’s website says he is general counsel to the Illinois Republican Party.

The state board’s website notes that Severson’s petition is being objected to by two people: Keith Becker of Millington and Charles Walton of Plano. The website does not list their political affiliations.

When Severson called the state board to find out the details of the objection, he said he was told they could not tell him, but he would receive a certified letter. As of Wednesday afternoon, he had not received it. According to the website, the objection was made at 10:51 a.m. Monday.

Calls made Wednesday to the board of elections, Walton and Fogarty were not returned. The number listed for Becker was disconnected.

“If it is the Republican Party, I’m really disappointed because the Democratic Party in Grundy County hasn’t done that to me in 12 years,” Severson said. He has served on the Grundy County Board for 12 years.

A call to Grundy County Republican Party Chairman Michael Mattingly was not immediately returned Wednesday.

Since his petition was viewed within an hour of him filing, Severson said he feels it was someone’s plan to attempt to have him kicked off the ballot right away.

“Never in my life have I tried to get someone off [the ballot] on a technicality,” he said. “If the voters wanted someone on the ballot, I’ll run against [them].”

Severson said he and his wife obtained most of his signatures for his petition by going door to door themselves, so they knew the signers lived in the district and asked if they were registered voters. He obtained more than 200 more signatures than were required, he said, so he does not know what the objection could be regarding.

A hearing on the objection is scheduled for Dec. 17.

In the general election, Martha Shugart, D-Morris, also is running for the 75th House seat. The 75th District encompasses parts of Grundy, Kendall, Will and LaSalle counties.

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