PORTAGE PARK — A Cook County Forest Preserve Police sergeant will stay in the race for the 38th Ward seat on the Chicago City Council after elections officials Friday dismissed a complaint claiming his petitions were fraudulent.
Jerry Paszek said he was glad to see the "unwarranted and slanderous accusations" filed against his campaign disproven.
"The challenge was a waste of taxpayer money," Paszek said.
Paszek is one of seven candidates vying to replace Ald. Tim Cullerton (38th), whose family has represented Portage Park and Dunning on the City Council since 1973.
Paszek said he was bracing for more "dirty tricks" in the crowded race.
"Whatever the challenge is, we'll meet it head on," Paszek said. "Our message is really resonating with the voters in the 38th Ward.
Four candidates, including Paszek, had their petitions challenged by Janelle Rau-Clauson, an assistant director for the Service Employee International Union.
Rau-Clauson, who is also the Illinois State Director of President Barack Obama's political organization, did not immediately return a phone message Friday morning.
Rau-Clauson's objections to the petitions filed by John Cianci and Chicago Police Officer Mike Keeney were upheld, and both were removed from the ballot Monday by elections officials.
The objection to the petitions filed by Rau-Clauson against Michael Duda is still pending, according to the board of elections' website.
The other candidates in the race are Chicago City Council legislative aide Belinda Cadiz; Realtor Tom Caravette; Carmen Hernandez, a City of Chicago water department investigator; Heather Sattler, the chief operating officer of the 100 Club of Chicago; and Ald. Nicholas Sposato (36th).
In races where no candidate earns 50 percent of the votes cast on Feb. 24, a runoff between the top two candidates will take place April 7.
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