Thinking about running for a local office in April? It’s not too late, said Andrea Alvarez from the non-partisan Citizen Advocacy Center in Elmhurst.

Alvarez will present a workshop Nov. 13 at the Forest Park Public Library explaining the ins and outs of running for office.

“The workshop is open to anyone who is interested in getting on the ballot and running,” Alvarez said.

Different government agencies from school boards to village boards and councils have different best practices, Alvarez said. She serves as community lawyer for CAC.

To make it more complicated, the Illinois State Board of Elections made specific changes this year. For example, nominating petitions for Cook County school board races were previously handed in at the local school district but now must be filed at the Cook County Clerk’s office.

Non-partisan elections held in April 2015 will include school boards, municipal boards or commissions and for other positions such as library trustees, forest preserve commissioners and some township offices and community college trustees.

The window to file petitions for local municipal elections is Dec. 15-22. Petition objections can be filed up until Dec. 30.

Forest Park Village Council elections got complicated in 2011 when petitions for three candidates were challenged by Forest Parker Elsie Radtke, who also is Commissioner Tom Mannix’s mother.

Radtke challenged the candidacies of incumbent Commissioner Rory Hoskins, IDOT bus driver Connie Custardo and small business owner Jon Kubricht. Custardo and Kubricht were thrown off the ballot, while the Hoskins campaign survived the challenge and was elected.

 Alvarez said she will cover best practices for avoiding petition challenges, as well as “if there is a challenge to overcome that challenge,” she said.

In different ballot cycles, the way petition challenges are handled is sometimes inconsistent, Alvarez said.

“We’re trying to make sure candidates know what to do and what not to do,” she said.

Alvarez said she’ll cover both the commissioner and trustee forms of municipal government, as well as school board. 

See the 2015 Illinois Board of Elections Candidate Guide here:

The workshop is co-sponsored by the Forest Park Public Library and Vox 60130.

Jean Lotus loves community journalism. She covers news, features, two school boards, village council, crime, park district and writes obits for Forest Park Review. She also covers the police beat for...

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