Candidates off ballot; race uncontested

Jason Bier and Virginia Malinas will not appear on the April 6 ballot as candidates for the Community Consolidated District 181 Board.

After holding a Zoom hearing Friday, the DuPage County Board of Elections upheld objections to their petitions. The race for four-year terms is no longer contested, with incumbent Bill Cotter and newcomers Mike Martin and Grace Shin the only remaining candidates for three open seats.

Martin challenged the petitions filed by Malinas, on the grounds that she had not been a resident of the district for at least one year. Cotter filed the objection to Bier’s candidacy because he used two petition pages (10 signatures each) that indicated he sought a two-year term, not a four-year term.

Martin, a civil litigator, said the requirements to run for the board are clearly stated and should be followed.

“In the election pamphlets provided, all candidates were advised to seek legal counsel to confirm they complied with the mandatory legal qualifications to be a board member,” he wrote in an email. “In fact, the very first item on the candidate checklist reiterated that each candidate should confirm he or she meets the residency qualifications.”

The objection was purely procedural, Martin said.

“This wasn’t a personal attack on Virginia. I actually helped her with some of her nominating papers,” he said, explaining that he notarized them before learning from a fellow candidate that she did not meet the residency requirement.

Martin said he, Cotter, Shin and incumbent Margie Kleber decided to run together as a slate prior to the Dec. 21 petition submission deadline. Kleber is running against Christine Dannhausen-Braun for a two-year term on the board.

Bier said he wishes the school board well.

“Our kids need to go back to school full time as soon as possible,” he wrote in an email.

Cotter declined to comment, and Malinas could not be reached prior to press time.

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Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean