SPRINGFIELD — Hours before a deadline would have passed that would have kept him on the ballot, third-party congressional candidate Josh Dill's candidate petitions were challenged Monday by an Edwardsville attorney who is the former chairman of the Madison County Republican Party.
Attorney Andrew Carruthers filed an objection to Dill's petitions with the state board of elections. The board likely will remove Dill's name from the ballot because he was far short of the required number of signatures.
Dill had filed as the candidate of the Lincoln Liberty Party in the 13th Congressional District, an area that includes Champaign-Urbana and much of central Illinois.
Carruthers did not return a call seeking comment.
Andrew Flach, a spokesman for Republican U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, said, "If our campaign filed an objection, I don't know anything about it."
Dill said he was hopeful that his petition would have gone uncontested. But Carruthers filed his objection around 1:30 p.m., three hours before the deadline.
"I was literally thinking I was going to slip through the cracks," Dill said. "I was expecting a Democratic objection as opposed to the Republicans, especially since the 2012 election."
In that race, an independent sapped about 7 percent of the votes, and Democrats insist it resulted in Davis' election over David Gill.
Dill, a 30-year-old Danville native, said he planned to challenge the objection to his petitions.
"This is not just about my rights being violated," he said, "but everybody who has the right to hear my voice."