Posted Online: Feb. 05, 2013, 5:31 pm

Judge throws Jones off Colona ballot

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By Lisa Hammer, rlhammer@qconline.com

CAMBRIDGE -- Henry County Circuit Court Judge Ted Hamer on Tuesday ruled that Matthew Jones, who filed as a candidate for 3rd Ward alderman in Colona, cannot be on the ballot in the April 9 city elections.

The judge's decision reverses a ruling by the Colona electoral board which said Mr. Jones could be on the ballot even though he filed his petitions of candidate before the Dec. 17-26 filing period for independent candidates.

The board said that errors on the part of city officials would make it a "travesty of justice" to kick Mr. Jones off the ballot.

After looking at the official candidates' guide, Judge Hamer said there was no question there were mistakes made by different people in Mr. Jones' case, but the chief mistake was the candidate's and it would be "chaos" to allow people to file whenever they wanted.

"It comes down to the responsibility of the candidate," he said. "To make an exception here would just open the door to let anybody file any time. The objector's petition is granted; Mr. Jones is not to be on the ballot."

The objector was Sena Ropp, who is challenging incumbent city clerk Linda Teichman in a Democratic primary on Feb. 26.