A candidate for Evanston City Council who was taken off the April ballot due to a technicality says he will run as a write-in. But another says she is still deciding.

A Cook County judge on Wednesday ruled that Eric Young’s signature petitions for Third Ward alderman were not “securely fastened” as required by law, so Young’s name will not be on the ballot.

Young said he will file as a write-in. “I owe it to those who signed my petitions to put up as good a fight as I can,” Young told “Evanston Now.”

Rebeca Mendoza.

Rebeca Mendoza, candidate for 5th Ward alderman, was also taken off the ballot by the judge for the same reason. Mendoza said she was “very disappointed.” She says she wants to run as a write-in, but “needs an expression from the community to keep going.”

Evanston’s Elections Board, made up of Mayor Steve Hagerty, Clerk Devon Reid, and the most senior alderman, Ann Rainey, had ruled the petitions were allowable as submitted, and the two candidates should remain on the ballot.

But a couple of voters pursued a court challenge. When asked why she thought someone would do that over a technicality about how petitions were held together, Mendoza said “obviously somebody sees me as a threat” and wanted her off the ballot.

Both candidates realize that running is more difficult than having your name on the ballot. Young said “I understand there are challenges to overcome, but I think we have as good a chance as anyone” in the 3rd Ward race.

Mendoza said “write-in is not the easiest road,” but added this is a critical time in history, with the need for Evanston to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, so she is seriously thinking of the write-in route. “I think I have the most followers who believe in my character and my skills,” she said. “I have to put together a game plan and see if it is doable.” Mendoza has until Feb. 4 to decide.

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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