A municipal electoral board will review one candidate’s objection to the other candidate’s eligibility to run for the At-Large City Council seat in the 2013 municipal election.
John Prendiville said Wednesday his objection is that when his opponent, Frank Garcia, filed his nomination papers, he was not a registered voter in Wheaton and therefore does not qualify to run for office.
Garcia, who filed for candidacy on Dec. 26, said he registered to vote in Wheaton about a week ago.
According to the City of Wheaton, candidates must be registered voters of the City of Wheaton and must live within city limits for at least one year.
Garcia said the candidacy requirements could be interpreted in different ways, as voters in DuPage County must register 28 days before an election. He said he interpreted the rules as requiring a candidate to be a Wheaton resident and a voter registered in the city by the 28-day deadline.
According to candidacy requirements that could be misconstrued, he said, candidates must have lived within the city limits for one year and be a registered voter of Wheaton.
“What does ‘and’ mean? (Does it) mean you must be a resident of Wheaton and registered… or (a) registered voter for one year and be a Wheaton resident?” Garcia asked.
On the official statement of candidacy, candidates must confirm they live in the city, village or other area of question, zip code and county of Illinois, and are a qualified voter therein.
Garcia said in each election, he takes his parents to vote in Naperville. He said he did not know last November, when he cast his vote with his parents in Naperville, that he would be running for City Council in Wheaton. When he heard Jeanne Ives had stepped down to allow time for an election of her At-Large seat, he decided to run.
“I feel (the) people of Wheaton should have more than one choice,” he said.
Prendiville also objected to Garcia's residency. He said voting in Naperville would indicate Garcia is a Naperville resident. Garcia said he has lived in Wheaton for five years, and plans to present evidence of his residency at the electoral board meeting.
The electoral board is comprised of Wheaton Mayor Mike Gresk, Councilman Tom Mouhelis and City Clerk Sharon Barrett-Hagen. The board will meet at 8 a.m. Monday, Jan. 14 at Wheaton City Hall.