Third-party candidate joins race for 103rd

SPRINGFIELD – Thomas Mackaman of Champaign officially filed to run for 103rd District state representative on Monday, the last day for third-party candidates to turn in nominating petitions to the State Board of Elections.

The 103rd District includes Urbana, most of Champaign and part of Savoy.

Mackaman is running as a member of the Socialist Equality Party against freshman state Rep. Naomi Jakobsson, D-Urbana. Champaign County Board member Deborah Frank Feinen of Champaign is the Republican candidate in the race.

While Mackaman has filed his nominating petitions, objections to those petitions may still be registered until 5 p.m. June 28.

Mackaman said he had collected more than the required number of signatures to give himself a buffer in the case of a challenge to his petitions.

In 2000, the last time an area House seat had a third-party candidate in the race, Libertarian David D. Wood Jr. was removed from the ballot in a successful challenge to his nominating petitions. Wood ran as a write-in candidate anyway in the old 104th District, which included parts of Champaign, Ford and Douglas counties.

He received just 36 votes, compared to the 19,194 votes for the winner of that race, Republican Tom Berns. The Democratic candidate that year, former Douglas County Sheriff Charles "Chub" Conner, got 16,774 votes.

While the 103rd District has become a three-way race, other state lawmakers from the area who are up for re-election this year remain unopposed. They are state Rep. Bill Black, R-Danville; state Rep. Shane Cultra, R-Onarga; state Rep. Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet; and state Sen. Dan Rutherford, R-Chenoa.

State Sen. Rick Winkel, R-Urbana, and state Sen. Dale Righter, R-Mattoon, are in the middle of four-year terms and are not up for election this year.

You can reach Kate Clements at (217) 782-2486 or via e-mail at kclements@news-gazette.com.

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