Bennett responds to McCoy charges

Lois Westermeyer

Tom Bennett, a candidate for the Republican nomination for the House seat in the 106th District, defended his candidacy, which was called into question Tuesday over apparent mistakes made in filing campaign documents.

“I’m aware of Mr. McCoy’s concerns over the paperwork and possible technical mistakes. We’ve looked into it. We’ve been in contact with staff at the Illinois Board of Elections in Springfield and we’re in the process of making sure things are fine. I’m confident that any technical concerns are really easily correctible,” said Bennett from the campaign trail Wednesday. Bennett, of Gibson City, is in a five-way race for the seat along with Pontiac residents Scott McCoy and Brian Gabor, Dwight resident Richard Thomas and Watseka resident Josh Harms.

McCoy on Tuesday called a press conference pointing out earlier revealed problems with Bennett’s candidacy papers, as well as additional problems he found.

Earlier problems stemmed from Bennett’s former campaign treasurer Andrew Killian, who apparently filed the initial candidacy papers from his Champaign office with the state Department of Children and Family Services, which is a violation of state ethics law.

Bennett said previously he had not been aware that Killian had faxed the paperwork using his state office and was sure it was not a deliberate act to violate ethics rules.

During Tuesday’s press conference, McCoy said he had looked through Bennett’s filing papers and found additional errors, relating to a candidacy for Parkland College Trustee instead of the House seat. Bennett ran for Parkland College Trustee and Killian was his campaign treasurer.

He has been a trustee on the board for many years.

“I think these are major glaring errors and I’ve asked Tom to take a serious look at his campaign,” McCoy said Tuesday. He said he contacted the Board of Elections and plans to file a formal complaint over the matter.

“Whether he files or not, that is his concern. I’ve been told these concerns are easily correctible and we will get them corrected,” Bennett said.

“With that behind us, I’d like to focus on the real issues, that impact people across the district,” Bennett said.

“People of the district really need to hear and want to hear how we are going to work through the debt and other issues facing this state. These issues are critical and that’s why I’m running for state rep in the first place.”

The Primary Election is March 20.