John Laesch & Contesting Elections

I deleted yesterday’s diary about Democratic candidate John Laesch contesting the results of the IL-14 regular Congressional primary, because today the Chronicle confirms that he has withdrawn the recount petition.

Laesch certainly had a right to file the recount petition, and he couldn’t help the timing because of a combination of an abbreviated special election cycle and Illinois law pertaining to contested results. If Foster had been badly beaten last Saturday, it might have been perceived as brilliant, even.

Still, he’s got a way to go to mend fences and is not going to do it by floating the sorts of rumors I’ve heard from diehard supporters over the past couple days. Most of them I will not repeat. However, let’s nip the one about Laesch considering a run as an independent in the fall, in order to save his campaign from further embarrassment:

A candidate for whom a nomination paper has been filed as a partisan candidate at a primary election, and who is defeated for his or her nomination at the primary election, is ineligible to be placed on the ballot as an independent candidate for election in that general or consolidated election.

Some are arguing that state law doesn’t cover national candidates, but I beg to differ. This provision is connected to a paragraph of the Election Code (10 ILCS 5/10‑3; from Ch. 46, par. 10‑3) associated with both statewide nominations as well as “of independent candidates for public office within any district or political subdivision less than the State” and which specifically mentions congressional candidate nominations. Most states have such a provision, and with rare exceptions it applies to all offices having a primary nominating process except for the presidency.

Oh, and it’s known colloquially as a “sore loser law.”