Metro East News Briefs

Chronicle Media

State Sen. William “Sam” McCann

Edwardsville Mayor Hal Patton

McCann promises viable third-party bid for governor

Illinois State Sen. William “Sam” McCann of Plainview has filed petitions to run as a third-party candidate for governor on the Nov. 5 general election ballot.

Though long identified as a Republican, McCann, 50th District,  plans to run for Illinois’ chief executive office as a Conservative Party candidate, with running mate Aaron Merreighn of Riverton.

As an  elected Republican office holder running against incumbent GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner, he is drawing considerable attention in political circles statewide.

Gov. Rauner and McCann this fall will face Democrat J.B. Pritzker, as well as Libertarian Kash Jackson, and Independent Mary Vann-Metcalf.

McCann last week predicted his candidacy will spur a legitimate three-way race for the governor’s mansion.

“I believe that we will take votes away from Gov. Rauner,” McCann said after filing his petitions. “I believe that we will take votes away from J.B. Pritzker and I believe that we will pick up our own votes across the way. And I believe that we will be successful.”

McCann is a frequent critic of  Rauner.  Earlier this year, he sued Republican leaders in the Senate for not allowing him staff for various functions. The case is pending.

Nominating petitions for  McCann, with more than 65,000 signatures, were filed with the Illinois Board of Elections on June 25 —  the final day for such filings, according to a press release.

McCann said he believes the petitions will withstand an expected objection. Independents and third-party candidates for governor need 25,000 valid signatures — compared with the 5,000 signatures that Democratic and Republican candidates had to file to compete in the March primaries.

Sen. McCann announced plans to run for governor, representing the newly- founded Conservative Party, on April 19. He was first elected in 2010, prior to redistricting, in the 49th district; after defeating incumbent Democrat Deanna Demuzio.

The 50th Illinois State Senate District, as now configured, covers an area north of Alton in Madison County as well as Jersey, Greene, Macoupin, Pike, Scott, Morgan, and Sangamon counties.

McCann for Illinois, the state-registered campaign committee established to support the state senator’s gubernatorial bid, as well as establish the Conservative Party in Illinois, reports $292,325.58 in cash on hand with no debts or other obligations according to the campaign finance tracking website Illinois Sunshine (

McCann generally lists his occupation as business owner and is known for operating construction companies in the Plainfield area.  

Sweeney has been a third-party candidate for lieutenant governor once before; as the running mate for gubernatorial candidate Ryan Sweeney of Silvis in 2014.

Patton files for state senate as Downstate United candidate

Edwardsville Mayor Hal Patton potentially relaunched his bid for the Illinois State Senate in the 56th District, with the filing of nominating petitions June 25.

Thought supported by the Madison County Republican Central Committee, Patton is now seeking the Illinois Senate seat on the Downstate United ticket, after being stricken from the GOP ballot earlier this year in court fight.

Nine thousand signatures are required to place a third-party candidate on the ballot in the 56th District. A press release indicated the Patton campaign had an adequate number of signatures on petitions.  However, it did comment specifically on the prospect of challenges, in what has become a contentious state senate race.

If certified by the Illinois Board of Elections as a third-party candidate, Patton would face Democratic candidate Rachaelle Aud Crowe of Edwardsville in the Nov. 5 general election.

They seek to succeed retiring Sen. Bill Haine of Alton, who has held the 56th District Seat since 2002.

Patton was the sole candidate to file for this year’s March GOP primary in the district; but was removed from the ballot by a Chicago circuit court judge for an alleged technical violation of Illinois election law.

A Godfrey-area labor union representative file a complaint with the state election board, noting that Patton, although launching a Republican bid for state senate, had signed a Democratic primary nominating petition for 112th District State Representative Katie Stuart of Edwardsville.

Illinois election law prohibits individuals from effectively acting as representatives of two different parties during an election cycle, the complaint noted. The Illinois Election Board ruled that Patton had violated campaign law with the petition signature.

An attorney for Patton tried unsuccessfully to overturn the election board ruling in court.

Patton has described the complaint as an “underhanded” tactic by the Crowe campaign.

The Madison County Republican Committee has named no replacement candidate to the GOP general election ballot in the district; instead throwing their support to Patton.

Citizen for Patton, the Edwardsville mayor’s campaign committee, reports $43,688.22 in cash on hand with no debts or obligations.

Debt advisory measure on Madison County ballot

Political divisions within Madison County would be encouraged to ask the opinion of voters before incurring bonded indebtedness, under terms of an advisory referendum on the Nov. 5 general election ballot.

Rules vary for the nine types of debt authored for cities and village under Illinois law, according to a summary by the law firm, Ice Miller, LLC.

Voter approval is not required for the issuance of general obligation (GO) bonds in municipalities with home rule. However, voter approval is required, with some exceptions, for GO bonds in municipalities without home rule. Voter approval is not required for the issuance of revenue bonds in any municipality.

State law provides for “backdoor referendums” on some financial instruments, such as alternate revenue bonds (ARB).  Such debt does not require voter approval in advance; however, taxpayers can file petitions for a referendum to effectively recall such bond issues, within a specified period after issuance.

The non-binding measure placed on the fall ballot last month by the Madison County Board will ask voters: “Shall all units of government within Madison County first seek approval from the voters by advisory referendum before incurring any bond debt?”

The question was placed on the ballot with 19-4 vote; despite criticism from some council member that it would not give voters any real say-so on bond issues that is not already afforded in law. It could lead to expensive special elections, some board members fear.

County tax limit law proposal withheld from ballot

A Property Tax Extension Law Limit (PTELL), proposed by Madison County Board Chairman Kurt Prenzler, will not appear on the county’s fall general election ballot.  The Madison County Board tabled the measure last week after analysis revealed it might still allow substantial property tax increases.

The proposed PTELL measure would limit property tax increases by capping the total dollar amount that certain property taxes could increase from year to year, to the Consumer Price Index or 5 percent, whichever is lower, according to Board Chairman Prenzler’s office. However, larger increases could still be made with voter approval.

According to District 3 Councilman Phil Chapman, the PTELL, as proposed, would have actually allowed property tax increases in various communities as follows: Bethalto — 20.83 percent, Glen Carbon— 11.27 percent, Grantfork — 23.18 percent, Hamel — 99.44 percent, Highland — 12.54 percent, New Douglas — 34.66 percent, Pierron – 86.12 percent, Livingston — 138 percent, Roxanna —103.58 percent, Troy — 59.50 percent, and Williamson — 77.45 percent.



–Metro East News Briefs–