(CBS) – Illinois state Sen. Ira Silverstein barely won a ballot challenge on Friday, but that may have been the easy part.
CBS 2 Political Reporter Derrick Blakley explains how Silverstein has to convince voters he deserves another term in Springfield.
Silverstein entered Friday’s hearing at the Board of Elections with his political future uncertain.
“There probably has been a case this close before, but I don’t remember it,” Board Chairman Jim Allen said.
The only state lawmaker publicly accused of sexual harassment, Silverstein submitted 1,999 signatures to get on the ballot. A legal challenge wiped out 995 as invalid. Friday, the board threw out two more.
Eventually, Silverstein’s campaign had 1,002 signatures that were considered valid – a mere two signatures over the threshold he needed.
The board ruled his name will be on the March primary ballot.
“We respected the process, we went through the process. Now, with my name on the ballot, now we’ll continue with the election,” Silverstein told reporters.
Victim’s rights advocate Denise Rothheimer leveled sexual harassment charges at Silverstein, a charge the inspector general rejected. However, the I.G. said the lawmaker behaved in a manner unbecoming a legislator.
Silverstein’s campaign sent a letter to his constituents. He says the communication was meant to tell voters “I made a mistake and asked for their support.”
Silverstein’s legal opponents have five days to decide whether they want to challenge the election board’s ruling in court.
Three candidates are set to take on Silverstein in the primary.