Ben Carlson, one of three Democratic candidates for Champaign County auditor, today issued a statement disputing a contention by Republican circuit clerk candidate Stephanie Holderfield that she had asked him to remove her signature from his candidacy petitions.
"On Tuesday, my campaign was informed that an objection had been filed against Stephanie Holderfield’s candidacy, due to the fact she signed one of my petition pages. No one asked us to remove any signature before filing our petitions. While we are pleased to have received support from both Democrats and Republicans – we feel we feel we must clarify – we have not helped nor are we helping the Holderfield campaign. We will cooperate fully with the Electoral Board and or Court if asked. This is an unfortunate situation and we hope it is resolved quickly.
"We are focused on the primary in March and enjoying the rest of the holidays."
That's at odds with what Holderfield told The News-Gazette earlier this week.
From Wednesday's N-G story:
Holderfield said she is a longtime friend of Carlson’s and signed his petition at a party, then later the same day asked him to remove her name.
“We were at a gathering and there were a bunch of people there and we were all passing petitions,” Holderfield said. “I said to Ben, ‘I’m not sure I should be on your petition. Cross me off.’
“I didn’t even think anymore about it at all. If I had been concerned, I would have called him again and asked him to cross me off. I’m sure he just forgot.”
The first hearing on Fisher attorney Steve Frank's effort to have Holderfield's name removed from the Republican Party primary election ballot will be at 3:45 p.m. today at the Champaign County Courthouse. The three-member county elctoral board will meet at that time.