HAMMOND — Former Republican mayoral candidate Edward Lipkovitch filed a challenge Monday against Hammond City Council candidate Katrina Alexander.
Lipkovitch filed the challenge alleging Alexander omitted information on her economic statement, known as CAN-12, "signed under affirmation, which is an essential element of filing for office," the filed document reads.
Alexander is a Democrat running for city council at-large. There are three Democrats running for the position, including Alexander, and one Republican. The position has three seats available.
"The grounds of the challenge are very similar to mine, my candidacy," Lipkovitch said.
Lipkovitch alleges that Alexander filled out "not applicable" on her form under the category of sole proprietorship, even though filings with the recorder's office and documentation show Alexander conducts business as sole proprietor of "Golden Reflections Photography and Printing."
According to her LinkedIn profile, Alexander is "CEO at Golden Reflections Photography and Printing" and has been since June 2008. Alexander did not immediately return calls for comment Monday evening.
He said he requested information from the county elections board about other candidates' CAN-12 forms, "looking for other information."
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"This kinda was just a glaring omission from her CAN-12," Lipkovitch said.
In September, the bipartisan Lake County Board of Elections and Voter Registration unanimously agreed to remove Lipkovitch, a Republican, from the mayoral ballot. Hammond Democrats filed the challenge against the would-be Republican challenger.
Lipkovitch, who was nominated to run against the Democratic incumbent by Hammond Republicans in June, failed to sign his financial disclosure form, the CAN-12, which is required by state law to be properly filed in order to be a candidate for local office.
Lipkovitch argued to the board that the intent of the statute was fulfilled since he submitted a completed form, even if it didn't include his signature affirming its truthfulness, because the form was signed by a notary to whom Lipkovitch verbally confirmed the veracity of his financial report.
Both Republican and Democratic board members weren't persuaded by Lipkovitch's argument. They said a notary only can confirm that he or she witnessed a person signing a document; the notary's signature cannot take the place of the person otherwise required to sign. Lipkovitch said looking into the other candidates' forms was related to his own situation.
"Trying to learn from my mistake, (I) kind of said, 'well how does everybody else do it?'" Lipkovitch said.
Alexander came in third in May for the democratic candidates in the primary election, winning 21.6% of the vote and four votes more than eight-term incumbent Bob Markovich, who sued the board of elections for a recount but then later dropped.