Scott Lee Cohen is Now Guaranteed a Spot on Illinois Ballot as an Independent Gubernatorial Candidate

Ballot Access News:

On July 14, the Illinois State Board of Elections dismissed a challenge to the petition of Scott Lee Cohen, an independent candidate for Governor. The challenges to the other statewide petitions are still pending.

Cohen submitted 133,000 signatures for a requirement of 25,000 valid. Major party candidates only need 5,000 valid signatures, and can be on the ballot with just one signature if no one files a challenge. Making the signature collection challenge in Illinois even harder is that circulators are not allowed to help candidates of different parties get on the ballot in the same year, and petition signers are not allowed to sign to get more than one party on the ballot.

9 thoughts on “Scott Lee Cohen is Now Guaranteed a Spot on Illinois Ballot as an Independent Gubernatorial Candidate

  1. Mike Theodore

    I’m still stunned that Cohen was able to mobilize enough to get 133,000 signatures when he entered the race about halfway (if I remember correctly) through the ballot petition window. I’m wondering where the hell or who the hell his supporters are.

  2. Skyler McKinley

    Mike, if I can recall correctly, Mr. Cohen was a leader of one of the grassroots movements formed as means of forcing the resignation of Rod Blagojevich. It’d be interesting to cross-check his candidacy petition signatories with those of the signatures listed on the petition calling on Gov. Blagojevich to resign. I’m almost point-positive that there’s a correlation.

    133,000 signatures is very very impressive. You’re the IL guy, but where I’m from, any candidate who can get that kind of grassroots movement early on as an Independent is a force to be reckoned with. What’s the law in your state? If someone signs a petition, is it a commitment to vote for that person or an endorsement of their place on the ballot? In Colorado, it’s the former, really, so one person cannot sign more than one petition.

  3. Robert Milnes

    Skyler, slumming in IPR again are we?
    Didn’t you see previous article on July 9 I think. Cohen was in the Free & Equal debate sans the dem & rep. “Cohen is extremely wealthy,…”
    Jump on that man! Find out if he has a campaign manager. Even if he does, tell him you can do better. You managed Gravel. Just don’t mention you dropped the ball on the fusion ticket with Ruwart that might have won him the presidency.

  4. JeffTrigg

    “I’m almost point-positive that there’s a correlation.”

    And you are wrong. There was no petition to remove Blagojevich from office. None. So there is no correlation to make between a petition that does exist and one that does not exist.

    Mike Theodore the answer lies in following the money. Scott Lee Cohen is rich and pays for everything from his personal wealth as a pawn show owner. Public campaign records available for months now shows he spent about $2 million of his personal funds during the primary to win the Democratic Party primary for Lt. Governor.

    Shelling out $100,000 from his pocket to get those sigs was not a problem for Cohen. His support had nothing to do with any non-existent petition to remove Blago.

  5. JeffTrigg

    That advisory “petition” wasn’t “circulated” or turned in to anybody and no one knew about it in the state until Cohen ran in the Dem. primary. Sticking a pdf online and getting a handful of signatures, if that, does not bolster your statement.

    “It’d be interesting to cross-check his candidacy petition signatories with those of the signatures listed on the petition calling on Gov. Blagojevich to resign. I’m almost point-positive that there’s a correlation.”

    There still was no correlation. Cohen bought the 133,000 signatures and it had nothing to do with a “grassroots movement” to get Rod to resign. One protest and a pdf online isn’t a grassroots movement and has no correlation to Cohen buying 133,000 sigs. Sorry Skyler, you are off on this one. Cohen bought the sigs plain and simple.

  6. Skyler McKinley

    Jeff,

    Duly noted. Obviously, the dynamics of this race and this particular candidate are best examined by the people who know the region best; I haven’t examined the Il Gubernatorial race, nor have I had any particular reason to.

    Was Cohen a Democratic candidate first? Is there a “sore loser” law in IL?

  7. Mike Theodore

    Skyler, I’ll give you the low-down without yelling at you for making suggestions.

    Scott Lee Cohen won the Democratic Primary for Lt. Governor against one Chicago career politician and one downstater. Most attention was focused on the Governor and Senate primaries, and he used his wealth to campaign across the state, run ads, and make job fairs. Yes, he did start “Rod Must Resign” but that did little when the entire state was pretty much saying that. Either way, he surprised everyone with his victory. One day later, the Chicago Tribune released information they were sitting on about his past personal life. The state party rallied against him and convinced him to get off the ticket of Gov. Pat Quinn.

    Signing the petition just gets you on the ballot, and of course they have to be registered voters. The LP collected about 50,000 above the 25,000 requirement and we are being challenged. He jumped in the race halfway through the process and collected all those signatures without any clear base of supporters. So it can be assumed that his money played a factor. Either way, he has high name recognition, no experience or education, no clear plans for the state, and non-impressive speaking abilities. I don’t really like how his name recognition clouds up a field of Green Rich Whitney, Libertarian Lex Green, Constitution Michael White, and an impressive and experienced activist independent William “Dock” Walls.

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