NEAR WEST SIDE — After the Board of Elections decided a candidate should land a spot on the 27th Ward ballot earlier this week, opponents now plan to fight the ruling in court.
Vashon Briscoe and Priscilla Yates, who previously filed an objection to candidate Gabe Beukinga's election petitions, now want a judge to review the board's ruling in the case, according to a motion filed Wednesday afternoon. The objectors are being represented by attorney Steven Laduzinsky.
The request for a judicial review comes just before Beukinga and veteran Ald. Walter Burnett Jr. are scheduled to square off in a debate Thursday night. Burnett's campaign declined to comment on the filing Wednesday night.
Beukinga previously said the challenge against him was a "waste of time and money."
"Walter still hasn't given up on trying to fight democracy," Beukinga said Wednesday night.
A provision in the city's election code allows a losing candidate to seek judicial review after the Board of Elections issues a ruling.
Beukinga's attorney Jim Nally said that the board made a very detailed record of factual findings in the objection case against the candidate. In most cases, a judge does not rehash the facts of a case, he said.
Nally expects a judge to issue a ruling on the request for review in 7-10 days.
Despite the objection against Beukinga's petitions, the Chicago Board of Elections decided Monday that 31-year-old should appear on the ballot.
The objection, filed by East Garfield Park resident Briscoe and Garfield Park resident Yates, argued that the petitions showed "a pattern of fraud," contained forged signatures and were "roundtabled," alleging that the same people were signing the petition sheets multiple times.
Beukinga has said that Briscoe and Yates are "straw" objectors acting on behalf of Burnett. Briscoe lives in a building owned by the alderman, according to Burnett's campaign disclosure form. Election records show that Yates is a paid employee of the 27th Ward Regular Democratic Organization; Burnett serves as committeeman.
More than a dozen Beukinga supporters, including former state Sen. Rickey Hendon, were subpoenaed in the challenge case.
Burnett, 51, is seeking his sixth term.
The diverse 27th Ward includes parts of the West Loop, Greektown, Garfield Park, the Near North Side, Old Town, West Humboldt Park, West Town, the Medical District and Goose Island neighborhoods.
The election is Feb. 24.
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