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Biggert clears the field in GOP congressional primary

Judy Biggert

Judy Biggert

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Updated: February 2, 2012 6:45PM

Rep. Judy Biggert (R-Hinsdale) saw both her Republican opponents dropped from the ballot Thursday.

That means she will be the Republican nominee for the new 11th Congressional district.

“Any time you have a clear shot without a primary is really a good thing,” Biggert said. “It will give me time to devote more energy and resources in running in the general.”

Biggert’s opponent Jack Cunningham, the Kane County Clerk, was a good sport about Biggert’s supporters’ success in knocking him off the ballot Thursday. Cunningham said he should have known better.

“I am the election authority in Kane County, and if you don’t do it right, you should not be a candidate,” Cunningham said. “That’s the way it is. That’s the way it should be.”

One of Cunningham’s petition circulators used the wrong address, so a majority of the signatures Cunningham gathered to run were thrown out under Illinois’ very exacting election laws.

Biggert supporters also knocked candidate Diane Harris off the ballot Thursday.

Cunningham, 73, said back when he filed to run, he did not think Biggert, 74, would be jumping into the race for the new 11th district next-door to her current district.

Illinois Democrats drew the oddly-shaped district (It looks like a genie emerging from a lamp.) to connect Democratic voters in Aurora and Joliet in the hopes of creating a suburban Democratic district.

They extended Democratic Rep. Mike Quigley’s Wrigleyville-based district all the way out to take in Biggert’s home in Hinsdale, so she opted to run in the new 11th.

This would be Biggert’s eighth term in Congress.

Three candidates remain in the Democratic primary, former Rep. Bill Foster, former Aurora Township Clerk Juan Thomas, and Orland Fire Protection District President Jim Hickey.

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