A Cook County Circuit Court judge on Friday knocked state Rep. Scott Drury from the Democratic ballot for attorney general — although the Highwood legislator plans to appeal the decision.
Drury in a statement seemed to blame the Illinois Democratic Party and its leader for the decision. Drury was the only Democrat not to vote for Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan’s leadership last year — and also blasted the speaker for not giving him an engraved desk clock that other Democrats received.
“When I entered this race, I knew the party would do anything it could to prevent a proven reformer from becoming Illinois’ next attorney general,” Drury said. “I have instilled a fear in Mike Madigan that has not been seen during his reign in Springfield.
“Justice was not served today, but the battle is not over. We plan to appeal the decision as soon as this afternoon,” Drury said.
Drury encountered his first ballot challenge via a recommendation from the Illinois State Board of Elections last month. According to the initial hearing examiner’s recommendation, Drury filed a statement of economic interest, required to run for office, but submitted a statement from April 2017 that he submitted to the Secretary of State for his role as state representative.
Drury’s attorneys claim his statement is accurate because it was filed within a year, which is required. And they argue that even if he had filed one for the attorney general post, it would have been identical to the one submitted.
“The failure to file a statement of economic interests for the Office of Attorney General renders the nomination petitions insufficient and not in compliance with the Election Code and Illinois Government Ethics Act,” wrote hearing examiner Jim Tenuto.
Tenuto writes that Drury’s economic interest statement as state representative is “not applicable” and that he was required to file a new statement for the attorney general’s office. Tenuto writes that members of the General Assembly are in a different unit of government than members of the executive branch, and therefore, his previous statement isn’t valid.
A second recommendation from the board’s general counsel did “not concur” with the initial recommendation. That recommendation said the statement Drury filed is sufficient since it “relates to the State of Illinois,” not just the district he represents.
Drury has plenty of avenues to appeal, all the way up to the Illinois Supreme Court. The cases are typically expedited, since the primary is in less than six weeks.
Drury is in a crowded field of challengers. Former Gov. Pat Quinn; state Sen. Kwame Raoul, D-Chicago; Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering; former city official Sharon Fairley; lawyer Aaron Goldstein; former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti and Chicago Park Board President Jesse Ruiz are vying for the post Lisa Madigan is giving up.