Signature collection starts in River Forest for April election

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By Devin Rose

Staff Reporter

Starting next week, the two candidates who have said they will run for president of the River Forest Village Board of Trustees, as well as residents hoping to fill the village clerk's seat and three open trustee seats, can begin to gather signatures in order to get on the April 9 ballot.

Sept. 25 is the first in a series of dates recently posted on the village's website that outline what prospective candidates must do if they want to get elected.

Trustees Cathy Adduci and Mike Gibbs are three years into their first terms as trustees, and both have said they plan to run for president. That leaves their seats up for the taking as well as the seat of Trustee Jim Winikates, who has said he will not run again when his term expires next May.

Current President John Rigas has also said he will not run for re-election. Village Clerk Roma Colwell-Steinke, whose term expires in May, could not be reached for comment.

The number of signatures presidential and trustee candidates must gather is based on the number of voters in previous elections, according to the 2013 Candidate's Guide, posted on the village website. But the precise number for each office could not be verified as of press time.

Adduci and Gibbs said they were not aware of any other presidential candidates.

When asked how they plan to get the signatures, Gibbs said he could probably get them in one morning by going door-to-door and spending some time on the Thatcher Avenue train platform or in front of Jewel. But he said the focus right now should be on the November presidential election, not his own.

"It's not right to muddy the presidential election with the village election," he said, adding the first one is "exponentially more important."

Gibbs said he prefers to keep the River Forest election under the radar so people can get more educated for the presidential election.

Adduci said the village is "in a very different spot" than it was four years ago when Rigas ran against Stephen Hoke. The board is not as divisive as it was then and her campaign for president will be about continuing the progress, she said.

Adduci plans to attend children's sporting events, neighbor gatherings and club activities to get her signatures. She wants to compile them as early as possible in order to turn them in on Dec. 17 — the first day they can be filed at village hall. The first person in line at 8 a.m. that day will be the first on the ballot, Adduci said. A tie results in a lottery.

Candidates for clerk, trustee and president have until 5 p.m. Dec. 24 to file their petitions at village hall.

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