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Elgin council primary will narrow field of 9 to 2 for 2-year seat

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Updated: January 31, 2013 6:33AM

ELGIN — The Feb. 26 primary for the two-year seat on the Elgin City Council will whittle down a field of nine candidates to two for the April 9 ballot to vie for the spot.

But the 13 candidates running for the four open four-year terms on the council will all be on the April ballot.

“After the primary, the two candidates (for the two-year term) who receive the most votes will remain on the ballot for the general election in April,” said Deputy City Clerk Jennifer Quinton.

Those nine candidates include Tom McCarthy, Toby Shaw, Daniel Schultz, Craig Dresang, Jason Dusenberry, Michael K. DeBrocke, Roy W. Chapman III, Chindavanh Keomuongchanh and Larry Wegman.

The crowded field on the April ballot for the four-year seats include incumbents Richard Dunne, Robert Gilliam and John Prigge; bicycle advocate and former city employee Tom Armstrong; former city council member Terry Gavin; Carol Rauschenberger, who recently proposed a for-profit cooperative food store in the city; and challengers Cody Holt, Andrew R. Cuming, Mitch Esterino, Rosemarie Kahn, Jerri McCue, Grace Richard and Stephen Knight.

Former downtown bar and restaurant owner Anthony Nance had petitioned to run but was removed from the ballot Dec. 11. That’s when the city’s election board ruled that because Nance owes Elgin about $8,400 stemming from an unsuccessful lawsuit against the city, he cannot legally be on the ballot.

The money owed was for the city recovering costs in the suit that Nance and his wife lost in federal court. The couple had sued the city in 2006 and eventually lost in a jury trial in autumn 2010. The suit contended that the city’s decision to strip them of their liquor license constituted racial discrimination.

The 13 remaining candidates for the four-year terms on the ballot will be contending to be the top four vote-getters who will take spots on the council. Because of Elgin’s population approaching 110,000, by state law the number of council seats — including the mayor — will go from the current seven to nine.

According to information provided by the city clerk’s office, the primary is being held Feb. 26 because more than four candidates filed for the two-year term. If more than 16 had filed for the four-year terms, there would have been a primary for those races, too.

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