Electoral Board Hearing Wednesday to Consider Objections to 3 Park Forest Mayoral Nomination Papers

Village Hall after storm
Park Forest Village Hall after a 2015 snowstorm. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

Successful Objections Would Reduce Number on Ballot from 6 to 3

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- A hearing of the Municipal Officers Electoral Board for the Village of Park Forest is scheduled for Wednesday, January 2, 2019, at 9:30 a.m. in Village Hall regarding Objections to the Nomination Papers of Candidates for Election of Park Forest mayoral candidates Emma Cox, Sean P. Hightower, and Renee Hawthorne. Objections were filed by Mr. Jonathan H. Newman and Ms. Christine Dupee.

If all objections are sustained, the currently crowded mayoral field of six would leave three on the ballot for the the April 2, 2019 Consolidated Election.

The Municipal Officers Electoral Board for the Village of Park Forest consists of the Mayor as chair, the senior Trustee [in this case, Robert McCray since Mae Brandon is seeking a position in this election], and the Village Clerk. The Village Clerk is Sheila McGann. The Village Attorney or his/her representative serves as attorney for the Electoral Board.

Specifically, the objections to be heard are:

  • Jonathan H. Newman vs. Emma  Cox
  • Jonathan H. Newman vs. Sean P. Hightower
  • Jonathan H. Newman vs. Renee Hawthorne
  • Christina Dupee vs. Sean P. Hightower
  • Christina Dupee vs. Renee Hawthorne

In an initial review of the candidate packets for those running for mayor, eNews Park Forest noted potential issues with the nomination papers submitted by Emma Cox and Sean P. Hightower. After learning of the objections filed by Jonathan H. Newman and Christina Dupee against the candidacy of Renee Hawthorne, however, a review of Ms. Hawthorne’s packet shows that there is a problem with her “STATEMENT OF CANDIDACY.” We missed this in our initial review of her nomination papers.

eNews Park Forest has not yet reviewed the specific objections filed nor spoken with those who filed the objections.

Potential Issues with Renee Hawthorne’s Nomination Papers

In short, Ms. Hawthorne does not include her complete address under the section that says, “ADDRESS-ZIP CODE.” Instead, Ms. Hawthorne has printed here “440 Indianwood Blvd.” and handwritten “60466.” As such, her address does not include “Park Forest, IL” or “Park Forest, Illinois” as it should. This is unclear and careless. An objection to this section of Ms. Hawthorne’s Statement of Candidacy would likely be sustained.


Furthermore, under the section that says, “CITY, VILLAGE OR SPECIAL DISTRICT,” Ms. Hawthorne has printed “Park Forest 80th District.” This section should read only, “Park Forest,” or “Park Forest, Illinois.” The “80th District” is inappropriate here. State Rep. Anthony DeLuca serves the Illinois House of Representatives District 80, but that district does not encompass all of Park Forest. As such, it appears that an objection to this section of Ms. Hawthorne’s Statement of Candidacy would likely be sustained.

eNews Park Forest will review the specific objections filed on Monday and will be present to video and take notes on the hearing scheduled for Wednesday at Village Hall.

The hearing will take place in the Board Room at Village Hall.

This story was updated at 4:20 p.m. on Dec. 20, 2018 with the name of the Village Clerk.