Write-in hopeful switches districts, twice in one week
Updated: March 10, 2012 8:15AM
One of Joe Walsh’s former foes in this spring’s Republican primary is plotting what his next move will be, if any.
The other is operating a write-in campaign — but has changed districts, twice, since being officially removed from the primary ballot.
Walsh, congressman for the current 8th Congressional District, which touches the western corner of Long Grove before stretching west into McHenry County, declared in December that he will run for re-election, even though redistricting is moving the 8th District further south. He had two opponents in the March 20 primary — Richard Evans and Robert Canfield — but the state removed both of them from the ballot in January.
Both Evans, a CPA whose campaign is based in Villa Park, and Canfield, owner of a commercial printing company in Palatine, lost their ballot positions on Jan. 21, when the Illinois Board of Elections decided their petitions were about 100 signatures short of qualifying. Evans said he was looking further into what his options are.
“I want to talk with the other candidates who got the ‘fast shuffle’ from the old GOP,” Evans wrote in a Feb. 3 e-mail.
“We have to make sure that new good and legitimate candidates are not receiving shabby treatment and a ‘stacked deck.’”
Canfield is certain about his plan — continue his campaign as a write-in candidate — but which district he will run in has changed twice. On Feb. 2, the former 8th District candidate said he was switching to the 6th District; on Feb. 3, he said he was switching back to the 8th District.
His complicated path to office began when he realized he was using an outdated map of the 8th District to gain signatures on his petition. The state changed the boundaries of all its elected districts last year, and many of the signatures Canfield gathered belong to voters who, in the 2012 election cycle, live in the 6th Congressional District.
So on Feb. 2, Canfield said he was taking that collection and petitioning to become a write-in candidate in the 6th District.
“I’m working with many county clerks,” he said at the time, making sure he would be a recognized write-in possibility. “I’m planning on winning the primary, and going on and winning the general election. I have a lot of fight left.”
But the next day, Canfield said he was switching back to the 8th District.
“Ninety percent of what we talked about yesterday no longer applies,” he said Feb. 3.
But, saying he had to leave his office immediately, Canfield did not explain what had changed and why he was moving his campaign back to the 8th District.
Whatever the reason, Canfield had said on Feb. 2 that he believed his platform would stick in the minds of enough voters to carry him.
“I think the write-in candidacy is gaining more power,” he said.