Three candidates for the Forest Park village council saw their petitions challenged Wednesday by a local woman with a family tie to another of the candidates, according to village records obtained by the Forest Park Review.
All three challenges were filed by Forest Parker Elsie Radtke. They included objections to the legitimacy of the Statements of Candidacy and/or the ballot petitions of incumbent commissioner Rory Hoskins, part-time bus driver Connie Custardo, and small business owner Jon Kubricht. Radtke’s objections to the candidates’ filed documents run the gamut and include allegations of fraud, improper wording and messy paperwork, to name a few.
“You’re supposed to do certain things [when filing],” Radtke told Review Thursday. “I’m getting tired of everyone skating the margins.”
Kubricht is accused of having forged signatures on his petition, filing less than the minimum 29 “valid” signatures – some of which were printed and, thus, not “genuine,” according to state law – and including persons who are not registered to vote at the addresses that were provided, among other things.
Many of the objections against Hoskins’ documents cite technical mistakes in the paperwork that allegedly invalidate certain sections. According to Radtke, Hoskins’ Statement of Candidacy – completed by the candidate and turned in to the village clerk when the candidate files – does not state explicitly, or “properly,” that he is running for village commissioner. What’s more, sections of Hoskins’ petition are incomplete, she said.
The objections to Custardo’s candidacy were similar to those brought against Hoskins: her paper work was unorganized, the petition sheets were not consecutively numbered and she did not correctly list the office she is seeking.
“I don’t want us to become complacent with business as usual and less than adequate people up on that board,” Radtke said.
Radtke is the mother of Tom Mannix, another candidate for village commissioner, but she said she was not “involved” with his run.
On Tuesday, a three-person electoral board including Village Clerk Vanessa Moritz, Mayor Anthony Calderone and a third member who has not yet been named, will convene to determine the legitimacy of the challenges.
Hoskins refused to comment on the objections against him and he has sought legal counsel to address the matter.
“I intend to work very hard to remain on the ballot,” he said.
“I’m taking steps to see what my options are,” Custardo said. “Those are small oversights.”
Kubricht could not be reached for comment.
“I’m tired of less than competent people making decisions that affect my life,” Radtke said.
Full coverage of the petition challenge issue will appear in the Jan. 5 issue of the Review.