Bradley Mayoral Announcement

The nominating petition of Bradley mayoral candidate Lori Gadbois and fellow Bradley Citizens Unite Party candidates are being challenged.

BRADLEY — The nominating petitions for the Bradley Citizens United Party have been challenged and a hearing regarding the objection has been set for 5 p.m. Friday at the Bradley Village Hall.

Former Progressive Citizens Party clerk candidate Charles Burke has filed an objection to the nominating petitions for the April 6 municipal election of the entire slate of the Bradley Citizens United Party candidates.

The candidates are Lori Gadbois, mayor; Clark Gregoire, clerk; and Bob Redmond, Erika McGrath and Jeff Hackley, trustee candidates.

Burke is alleging in the two-count challenge that the petitions were not properly completed, thus calling into question the nominating signatures. He also alleges that some signatures are not matching to voters records or to those signatures on other petitions.

At issue are the names signed by Lori Gadbois and Jeff Hackley. Burke said Gadbois signed the petition with the name “Laurel,” which is her given name. Hackley signed his as “Jeff” when it should have been Jeffery.

The three-member Bradley Electoral Board is chaired by village trustee Darren Westphal. Also serving on the board are village trustee Brian Billingsley and Bradley resident Steve Lagesse.

“They are not following what other candidates did follow,” Burke said. “This is why we have hearings and committees. They will decide.”

In all, the candidates turned in more than 200 signatures when only 166 were required. The Citizens United Party is challenging Burke’s objection.

Gadbois said only four signatures are being challenged according to Burke’s attorney — two on Page 2 of the petition and two on Page 3. She also noted the petitions were completely and correctly filled out before she or any other candidates went out seeking Bradley voter signatures.

“No one left with a blank petition and we all circulated identical petitions which were completely filled out properly,” Gadbois said.

Burke, running for the office along with now-Bradley Mayor Pro Tem Mike Watson, unsuccessfully sought the village clerk’s post in the April 2013 election as well as a trustee position in the April 2015 election.

Gadbois, the Kankakee County recorder of deeds, and the entire slate announced their candidacy on Dec. 3. Gadbois, a former 16-year village trustee, looks to challenge Watson for the mayoral post which has not had an elected mayor since Mayor Bruce Adams, a Democrat, announced his resignation due to health concerns in April 2019.

Watson has served as mayor pro tem since Adams’ resignation.

Lee Provost, an award-winning reporter, has been writing local news stories for The Daily Journal since 1988. He is a lifelong resident of the region. Provost can be reached at lprovost@daily-journal.com.