PEKIN, Ill. (WMBD) — The Pekin Electoral Board voted to remove Councilmember Becky Cloyd from the April municipal ballot.
The tension was thick during the electoral board meeting on Friday. The board heard objections from residents John Burns and Tim Latronico against Cloyd’s petition for mayor because her paperwork was incomplete. She was missing circulator information on several pages. After hearing the objectors and Cloyd’s counsel the board voted two-to-one to keep mayoral candidate Cloyd off the ballot.
“I expected it because of the animosity that is towards me personally from the mayor. Unfortunately, he chose to not use integrity which he likes to speak of highly,” said Cloyd.
At the start of the hearing, Cloyd’s attorney Tom DeVore asked that outgoing Mayor Mark Luft be disqualified from the board because Luft is already supporting another candidate. However, Luft did not recuse himself from the board.
“I asked legal counsel if there’s a stipulation I should then I should. I had no problem with that at all. They said there is not, the only one is if you were on the ballot,” Luft said.
Luft and City Clerk Sue McMillan voted no and Councilmember Lloyd Orrick voted yes. The mayor says his decision was not personal but it was about protecting the integrity of the election process. Cloyd acknowledges her mistake but says it wasn’t intentional.
“There’s enough support, evidence-wise, to allow me to be on the ballot. It’s just, my personal opinion, is this is another way to discourage me because this is more financial burden on me as a candidate. But I have a group of support that I am confident that we are going to push this,” she said.
Cloyd said she plans on taking her case to the next step which is the circuit court.
Ahead of Friday’s meeting Pekin mayoral candidate Mary Burress released the following statement:
“It’s unfortunate we find ourselves in a situation where the interests of the voters run against the rule of law and protecting election integrity. There are 47 people who believe Councilman Cloyd belongs on the ballot, and they did everything right when they signed her petition. Voters shouldn’t be punished for the carelessness of the candidate,” said Burress.
“However, when you’re in an elected office, attention to detail, following the rules, and transparency are critical to ensure people have faith in their government and our elections. This is an unnecessary predicament, but I believe our default should be to respect the intent of the voters who signed a petition in good faith to ensure there would be choices on their ballot.”
“I’m proud to have always fully completed the requirements to be a candidate for elected office, and I look forward to continuing to serve the people of Pekin.”