DANVILLE, Ill. (WCIA)– Danville Mayor Rickey Jr. has filed a challenge against one of his opponents in the race for mayor.
Voters will head to the polls in the spring and as that day gets closer, Williams and Jacob Lane are battling it out.
Williams has filed a challenge against Lane, claiming 22 of his petition signatures are invalid.
“No one from the election commission has contacted me to date, to tell me there has been a challenge,” said Jacob Lane.
“If you cannot file simple paperwork, how can you expect to manage a city well,” said Mayor Rickey Williams Jr.
Lane is one of two trying to take Williams’s seat.
“Mayor Williams has no record to run on so he has resorted to an underhanded Chicago tactic like this, it might work in Chicago but it’s not right for Danville politics,”
“He is a political consultant and writer I would certainly believe he otta understands the process better than most people,” said Williams.
Williams claims lane has invalid signatures on his petition to run and has filed a challenge with the election commission.
“The law requires you to have a certain number of valid signatures and unfortunately Mr. Lane did not,” said Williams.
That number is 225. Lane turned in 231. Williams claims out of those signatures, seven people live outside of Danville city limits and 15 were not registered to vote in Danville.
“How would he have that information?” Said Lane.
Williams says he used a list of registered voters and looked each person up by name, and if he couldn’t find the person, he verified them with the election commission.
“A former longtime county recorder Barb Young taught me when I first started running for office that it’s important to make sure your paperwork is in order and that also you should always check that of your opponents to make sure that they’ve done everything properly, so that’s just a standard practice that I’ve engaged in ever since I began running for office,” said Williams.
When we asked him if he also used the same practice as his opponent Jackie Vinson, he said yes, and that she had the correct number of valid signatures.
Lane believes all his signatures are also valid.
“It’s my first go around, I don’t know if all the signatures on the sheet are correct, I thought they were, I thought I asked all the voters the same questions, are you registered to vote in Danville,” said Lane.
He says until he gets confirmation from the election commission that something is wrong with his signatures, he is considering this a small bump in the road and will only continue his campaign.
“It just shows you if you can’t win through the normal process, so he is going to use every underhanded tactic possible to try to get another term,” said Lane.
We reached out to Jackie Vinson, the second candidate vying for the mayor’s seat, about the situation.
“This is a political strategy being utilized by my opponents,” said Vinson.
We called the Danville Election Commission Director Sandy Delhaye. She confirmed she got the objection from Williams. She has called the State Board of Elections. They are investigating Williams’s claims. It could be a few days until we have an answer.
If Williams’s claims that the 22 signatures are not valid is true, that would mean Lane would not have enough signatures to be on the ballot.