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Petitions, positions, and elections

Candidates and voters get ready for April 2 election

by Josh Bootsma

LANSING, Ill. (November 18, 2018) – With the November 6 elections behind us, Lansing voters are starting to think ahead to April 2 when we will vote for local representatives.

Lansing office-seekers have already begun circulating petitions to be on the April 2 ballot. Since petitions are an early step in the local election process, we’ve gathered answers to some Frequently Asked Questions about petitions, as well as everything we know so far about the offices up for election on April 2.

Petition FAQs

What are petitions?

Candidates intending to run for office in Cook County must obtain a certain number of signatures on a petition in order to file their candidacy. These petitions serve as a community nomination and indicate support for the individual intending to run for office.

Who can sign petitions?

For individuals running for office in Lansing, the signatures must be from individuals who are registered to vote in Lansing, Illinois.

Why are people petitioning now?

State guidelines include an established window in which candidates may collect signatures. This window starts on September 18 and ends on December 17, the last day to file for candidacy.

Can I sign more than one petition?

This is where things get complicated. Your signature is a nomination of a candidate for a specific position. Essentially, you can “nominate” only one person for each position—but if there are multiple positions available, you can nominate (or sign) for a different person for each available position.

For example, the Lan-Oak Park Board will have three Commissioner positions available on the April 2 ballot—two six-year terms and one two-year term. Karen Adams is running specifically for the two-year term. Jim Long is running for one of the six-year terms. You could sign both Karen’s and Jim’s petitions because they are not running for the same position.

How do political parties factor in?

When people decide to run for office together and form a party, then a signature for any member of the party is an endorsement of the whole party.

For example, if you sign Saad Abbasy’s petition for Village Trustee, you are also endorsing Jerry Zeldenrust and Mike Fish as Village Trustees, because all three are running together as the Village Voice Party.

Do I have to vote for the people I signed petitions for?

Voters are free to vote for whomever they wish, regardless of previous petition signatures. And in the voting booth, you are choosing individuals, not parties, so you can pick the person you want for each available position, regardless of party affiliation. So on April 2, you could decide to vote for both Saad Abbasy and Larry Thomas, no matter whose petition you signed.

Can someone else collect signatures on behalf of a person running for office?

Yes, office-seekers may choose petition circulators to collect signatures on their behalf. However, either the office-seeker or a circulator must personally witness you signing the petition—they can’t just be passed around a room for everyone to sign.

How do I know who to sign for?

Petition season is a great time to get to know those running for office. Consider keeping a list of people whose petitions you sign and what office they are running for. That way you can track them throughout campaign season. Start a list of questions to ask—there will be opportunities between now and April 2 Election Day to find out how the different candidates plan to serve Lansing.

Looking ahead to April 2

April 2, 2019, is when Lansing voters will choose their local leaders. We will be voting for the following:

Village Trustee

(Vote for three on April 2)
Current Village Trustees:

  • Tony DeLaurentis – term expiring
  • Michael Skrbina – term expiring
  • Jerry Zeldenrust – term expiring
  • Maureen Grady-Perovich
  • Brian Hardy
  • Michael Manno

Those we know are petitioning so far:

  • Saad Abbasy (Village Voice Party)
  • Mike Fish (Village Voice Party)
  • Jerry Zeldenrust (Village Voice Party)
  • Larry Thomas (Independent candidate)

Lan-Oak Park District Commissioner

(Vote for one 2-year term and two 6-year terms on April 2)
Current commissioners:

  • Patrick Gulotta – term expiring
  • Jim Long – term expiring
  • Micaela Smith – term expiring
  • John Kelly
  • Robert Tropp

Those we know are petitioning so far:

  • Karen Adams – 2-year term
  • Jim Long – 6-year term
  • Micaela Smith – 6-year term

Elementary School District 158 Board*

(Vote for three on April 2)
Current officers:

  • Robert Bonifazi (President) – term expiring
  • Mary Kelly – term expiring
  • Abi Duran – term expiring
  • Suzanne Long (Vice President)
  • Robert Wood (Secretary)
  • Chuck Taylor
  • Sara Wallace

*Lansing residents living north of 186th vote for this Elementary School District.

Elementary School District 171 Board*

(Vote for four on April 2)
Current officers:

  • Dennis J. Altgilbers – term expiring
  • Jada Curry (President) – term expiring
  • David Lilly – term expiring
  • Cozette Y. Pettigrew – term expiring
  • Kenisha LeSure (Secretary)
  • David Lopez (Vice President)
  • Timothy Terrell (Board Member)

*Lansing residents living south of 186th vote for this Elementary School District.

High School District 215 Board

(Vote for three on April 2)
Current board members:

  • Sheryl Black – term expiring
  • Michael Bolz – term expiring
  • Rita Oberman – term expiring
  • Richard Dust (President)
  • LeeAnn Revis
  • Patricia Stepp
  • Roger Yochem

South Suburban College District 510 Board

(Vote for two on April 2)
Current board members:

  • Anthony DeFilippo – term expiring
  • Vivian Payne – term expiring
  • John Daly (Vice Chair)
  • Janet Rogers
  • Joseph Whittington
  • Terry Wells
  • Frank Zuccarelli (Chair)

Those we know are petitioning so far:

  • Vivian Payne
  • Anthony DeFilippo

Lansing Public Library Trustee

(Vote for two on April 2)
Current officers:

  • Anthony Comer-Hill (Secretary) – term expiring
  • Judith Koch – term expiring
  • Timothy Glinski (President)
  • Sharon Novak (Vice President)
  • Bonnie Cuthbert (Treasurer)
  • Jeri Villa
  • Mozella Brown

Those we know are petitioning so far:

  • Judith Koch
  • Geoffrey Erlenborn

Staying Informed

Candidates: If you are running for an office on April 2, the Lansing Journal would like to know. We will be publishing as much information as possible to help Lansing voters make informed voting decisions in the months leading up to the election. Email your bio or platform to [email protected].

Voters: If you have questions about the various positions or about the candidates, we’d like to know those as well, so we can plan articles that will address those questions. Email questions to [email protected].

Josh Bootsma
Josh Bootsma
Josh is Managing Editor at The Lansing Journal and believes in the power and purpose of community news. He covers any local topics—from village government to theatre, from business openings to migratory birds.


  1. There will be THREE, not TWO, board members elected to School District 158 in April. Abi Duran’s position (formerly held by Michael Vann, who had replaced the elected Phil Schumacher) is also expiring.

    • Thank you for that information Mr. Wood. I’ve updated that section of the article above and added Abi Duran as a “term expiring” candidate.

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