Woman booted from April ballot plans to mount write-in campaign

Shawn Good is first in 12 years to challenge EP Mayor Sexton

By Laura Bollin

An Evergreen Park woman kicked off the spring election ballot when the village's electoral board declared her nominating petitions invalid will run for mayor as a write-in candidate.

The Evergreen Park Electoral Board on Jan. 17 upheld the Cook County clerk's ruling that wouldbe mayoral candidate Shawn Good's petitions were invalid because they did not contain the 66 signatures required to run for office this year in the village. The electrical board consisted of Evergreen Park village Clerk Cathy Aparo and village Trustees Jerry Bosch and Carol Kyle, all members of incumbent Mayor Jim Sexton's political party.

Evergreen Park residents Anthony Yukich and Geoffrey Layhe each filed objections to Good's petitions after reviewing public records, according to Aparo said. Yukich believed Good had, at most, 50 valid signatures, while Layhe believed she had 52, she added. Attorney Burt Odelson represented objectors Layhe and Yukich at the electoral board hearing, while Good represented herself.

The Cook County clerk's office had reviewed the petitions Jan. 11 and ruled in favor of the objectors. The electoral board upheld the ruling based on various criteria including petitions being improperly bound, petitions signed by unregistered voters, and names in which the signers used their middle initials, despite not having used middle initials when they registered to vote.

"There is a whole list of reasons signatures are invalid," Aparo said. "Some people [who signed the petitions] aren't registered to vote at all. Some aren't signed properly, like people using a middle initial. Unless your name is the way you signed your voter's card, it is invalid.

"She had six pages of petitions put together with a paperclip, and the way the board reads it they have to be bound like a book," Aparo said. "The pages have to be connected to each other using something like brad-fasteners."

Good disagreed with some of the objections.

"For example, if somebody used a nickname, like their name was Edward, but they signed the petition as Ed, it didn't count," Good said. "I felt like the decision was already prepared."

Good, who has lived in Evergreen Park for 40 years, wanted to run for mayor because she has always been interested in politics. She is a former member of the Illinois Air National Guard and views public office as another way to serve her community, she said. She plans to challenge Sexton via a write-in campaign.

"I'm going to follow through," she said. "I'm not done yet.

"I already went out and became a challenger. It has been so long since we have had any challenger run against the incumbent. I got the common interested of so many people in a small town. Throughout the town, there is still a lot of support."