It was a process filled with drama. Issues involving Anthony Clark are often filled with drama. We’d give him credit for an ability to command attention. And, increasingly, we’d suggest everyone who isn’t Anthony Clark needs to consider just why we make him such a lightning rod.

The local activist, OPRF teacher and frequent candidate was knocked off the April ballot, running for a position on the Oak Park Village Board, when the local electoral board sided with a person who had filed a challenge to Clark’s candidacy. The challenger, Kevin Peppard, alleged that Clark was not a resident of Oak Park and instead owned a property in west suburban Lombard. 

After multiple hearings, the duly formed electoral board — Mayor Anan Abu-Taleb, Trustee Jim Taglia and Village Clerk Vicki Scaman — voted 2-1 to oust Clark from the ballot. Scaman, who is running for village president this spring was the vote in support of Clark’s candidacy.

It was stunning a few days later, when the electoral board reconvened for what was expected to be a routine act to formalize their earlier vote, that both Abu-Taleb and Taglia announced they had reconsidered and would now join Scaman in keeping Clark on the ballot.

What changed their minds? Not entirely clear. But we believe they made the right choice. As we have often said, campaigns are the place to sort out qualifications for office, whether that is debating a matter of policy or challenging a candidate’s residency. Voters should make these decisions.

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