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Two Illinois candidates, same name, one ballot

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She’s Gott to be kidding.

A small-time race for county treasurer in southern Illinois took a wild turn last week when incumbent Ashley Gott received a challenge — from Ashley Gott.

The upstart Gott — formerly known as Erin Perry — changed her name legally earlier this year, Williamson County Clerk Amanda Barnes told The Post.

“We have not had this happen here before,” she said.

Illinois law requires that if a candidate changed his or her name within three years of an election, the candidate’s new name would have to be followed by the old on the ballot.

“This used to happen fairly regularly (particularly in [Chicago] judicial races when people would adopt Irish surnames), but then state law was changed,” longtime Illinois political blogger Rich Miller wrote.

Incumbent Ashley Gott.

The candidates are not identical in sex: the incumbent Ashley Gott is a male and the challenger a female.

Neither Gott, nor the newer one’s parents, returned calls from The Post.

“It’s an unfortunate and confusing chain of events for the voters of Williamson County,” Gott, who took office in 2019, told a local newspaper. “I can’t control what other people do. I can only control myself.”

Neither Gott, nor the newer one's parents, returned calls from The Post.
Neither Gott, nor the newer one’s parents, returned calls from The Post.
Chicago Tribune

“I will continue to use my finance degree and experience to be a good steward of county finances,” he added.

Gott has a bachelor’s degree in finance from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, according to LinkedIn. Before taking public office, he worked for about two decades in commercial loans.

But the newer Gott appears to have gotten cold feet.

The newer Gott withdrew her candidacy.
The newer Gott withdrew her candidacy.
Jonathan Daniel

“Yesterday she did come in and withdrew as a candidate,” Barnes said Friday.

Gott’s challenge was first reported by Politico Illinois.


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