Candidate withdraws from District 67 race
Updated: February 19, 2013 12:04PM
MORTON GROVE — A candidate in the Golf Elementary School District 67 School Board election has withdrawn from the race, leaving just four candidates running for four seats on the board.
Howard Kirschner withdrew his candidacy Jan. 10 after a challenge to his nominating petitions contended that he had only 48 valid signatures, two fewer than required. A total of 50 signatures of registered voters living in the district are needed to appear on the April 9 ballot.
Richard Toth, a current member of the District 67 School Board who is running for reelection, brought the challenge to Kirschner’s nominating petitions.
Toth’s objection was heard Jan. 10 by the District 67 Electoral Board, made up of three board members: President Meryl Gale, Vice President Samina Hussain and Secretary Louise Karlin.
After Kirschner’s withdrawal from the race the board was not required to make a decision on the validity of his petitions.
Kirschner’s petitions contained 57 signatures, but nine of those appeared to be invalid, according to information presented by Toth.
Kirschner, a 16-year resident of Morton Grove, represented himself at the hearing, as did Toth, who is an attorney.
“I decided to run for the School Board. I thought it would be a nice thing to do,” Kirschner said. “I spent a great deal of time in the neighborhood talking to people and they told me they are registered voters.”
Toth said he compared the names and addresses on Kirschner’s petitions to the Cook County voter rolls. In one case, he said, the same person’s name was listed twice, once printed and once handwritten. In other cases he found that people who signed were not registered to vote at the address they listed on the petitions.
“I don’t actually know Mr. Kirschner. I’m sure he’s a good man with good intentions,” Toth said. “If you don’t have the minimum number of signatures you don’t satisfy the law.”
At one point, after Toth said that Kirschner might not have gotten all of the signatures himself, Kirschner objected.
“You’re implying I’m less than an honorable person and I object to that,” Kirschner said. “To imply I did something in a dishonorable way, I object to that.”
But Toth said “nothing was intended” by his statement. He said he considered the possibility that more than one person had circulated petitions.
Given the option of withdrawing from the race by Barbara Goodman, the attorney for the Electoral Board, Kirschner said that if he did not have enough signatures there was no reason to continue.
“I have noting but good intentions. If it takes 50 signatures I guess I don’t qualify,” Kirschner said. “If 50 is the cutoff, I’m off.”
Kirschner said he was disappointed that he could not run for the school board.
“I’ve lived in Morton Grove the last 16 years. I’ve gotten a dog the last few years,” he said. “My intentions are good.”