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BLOOMINGTON - A Green Party candidate's second run for the Statehouse is being challenged by incumbent state Rep. Dan Brady, R-Bloomington.

Brady filed his challenge Tuesday in McLean County to Phil Huckelberry's petition to run in the March primary for the 88th House District. The Green Party is an established party in McLean County, so Huckelberry had to file a petition to run in the party's primary.

Huckelberry of Normal lost his bid for Brady's seat in the 2004 general election.

Brady argues Huckelberry does not have the required minimum of 500 signatures from valid, registered voters in the district. Brady said his cursory review of Huckelberry's petition shows Huckelberry has a little more than 250.

"He doesn't have the required number of signatures to begin with," Brady said. "If we are not going to follow the rules then why have them?"

Calls to Huckelberry's home Friday evening were not immediately returned.

Brady said the lack of signatures on Huckelberry's petition also will lead him to push for legislation this spring that will give the state Board of Elections the authority to reject any candidate's petition if it does not appear to meet state standards.

When Huckelberry filed his petition Dec. 19 in Springfield, his petition had to be accepted by election officials. "If we had an apparent conformity law on the books, they (election officials) could have rooted this out from the get-go," Brady said.

A hearing on Huckelberry's petition will be Tuesday in Bloomington before the McLean County Officers Electoral Board. The 88th District boundaries do not include any county other than McLean, so the hearing must be held in Bloomington, said Denise Cesario, elections administrator for the McLean County clerk's office. If the district crossed a county line, the hearing would be held in Springfield.

This is not the first time a petition filed by Huckelberry has been challenged. In 2002, he attempted to run for McLean County Board but was kicked off the ballot for failing to get the required number of signatures.

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