And then there were two. 

The Cook County Electoral Board ruled that Cook County assessor candidate Andrea Raila did not collect enough valid signatures for her nominating petition for the March 20 primary.

Raila was challenged by Oak Park resident and assessor candidate Fritz Kaegi. Raila said in a press release that she collected over 14,000 signatures, but the electoral board determined as many as 5,800 were invalid. 

The Raila campaign issued a statement after the board hearing on Feb. 5, calling the process of defending the petition signatures “abusive and onerous.”

Kaegi called the board “professional, thorough and fair.” He now faces incumbent Assessor Joe Berrios, the only other candidate in the race.

“We look forward to continuing to focus squarely on defeating Joe Berrios because the voters deserve an assessor who operates fairly, transparently and professionally — and that’s what’s at stake in this election,” Kaegi said.

A three-person electoral board is scheduled to consider the hearing officer’s recommendation and make a final vote on the matter on Friday. According to a Chicago Sun-Times report, Raila has said she will challenge the hearing officer’s ruling with the board and, if necessary, take her case to the circuit court.

Timothy Inklebarger

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