URBANA — A Champaign County judge has ruled against a bid to include a write-in election for county treasurer on the March 17 Republican primary ballot.
Judge Jason Bohm ruled Wednesday in favor of the Champaign County Clerk’s Office in a complaint for administrative review and motion for a temporary restraining order filed Jan. 17 by John Bambenek, who was seeking to mount a write-in campaign as a Republican for county treasurer.
Bambenek, 42, of Champaign filed a declaration to run as a write-in candidate for treasurer in the primary late last week, but it was rejected by County Clerk Aaron Ammons based on state election code requirements and the timing of Treasurer Laurel Prussing’s resignation after Dec. 2, 2019.
Prussing’s resignation will be effective Jan. 31, and she will be replaced temporarily with an appointee who will be approved by the county board. Both Republicans and Democrats will slate a candidate for to run in the Nov. 3 general election.
Had Bambenek been successful in being able to run as a write-in candidate in the primary and gotten enough votes, he would have advanced to the general election as the Republican nominee.
Barbara Mann, chief of the civil division for the Champaign County State’s Attorney’s Office, said there are other ways for Bambenek to run for treasurer in November. He can be a write-in candidate in that election, or he can ask to be the slated GOP candidate, she said.
“Those alternate paths protect his rights, and the voters rights to choice,” she said.