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Local

Braidwood Electoral Board rules in favor of mayoral candidate

Mayoral candidate will be on ballot

The city of Braidwood's Electoral Board overruled the Mayoral candidate objection and allowed James Vehrs onto the ballot.
The city of Braidwood's Electoral Board overruled the Mayoral candidate objection and allowed James Vehrs onto the ballot.

BRAIDWOOD – Despite an objection filed against one of its candidates for mayor, the city of Braidwood will see two people running for mayor on the April 7 ballot.

Incumbent Mayor William Rulien and James Vehrs are running for the city's top spot.

An objection was filed against Vehrs – who also ran and lost against Rulien previously – but was overruled by the City of Braidwood Municipal Officers' Electoral Board earlier this week.

The objection was filed by Richard Girot, as a resident of Braidwood. Girot also serves as the city's police chief and city administrator.

The Electoral Board's decision states that Girot objected to Vehrs' petition for mayor because he had an overdue debt to the city of Braidwood, and therefore, was not qualified to run for mayor, according to the Illinois Municipal Code.

According to the case documents, Vehrs owed the city payment for his water bill, and has been delinquent in paying for utilities provided by the city throughout a number of years.

The board found that Vehrs was in debt to the city when the objection was filed, but since he filed for the election, has since paid off his debt. Therefore, it ruled that according to the amended code in 2013, a person could only be disqualified for owing the city money if it is not paid by the time the oath of office is taken.

"Although it may appear that at the time the candidate filed his nomination papers he was in arrears on a debt owed to the city of Braidwood, he has since made his account current with a payment," according to the board's decision.

Since he no longer owes the money, the board found he could stay on the ballot.

The Electoral Board was comprised of City Commissioner Dan Graf, City Clerk Lisa Glisson and Commissioner James Hutton.

Both Girot and Vehrs could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday.

This story has been changed to correct the number of candidates running for mayor. A third candidate, Robert Snedeker, has withdrawn from the race. The Morris Daily Herald regrets the error.

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