CHICAGO — Two candidates backed by Lyndon H. LaRouche Jr. must be admitted to the state Democratic convention, but party leaders may decide whether they address the group, a judge ruled Friday.
Mark Fairchild and Janice Hart, who scored upset victories last March in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor and secretary of state, had asked the court to let them speak before the convention this weekend.
Judge Anthony Scotillo of the Cook County Circuit Court issued a 10-day temporary restraining order, preventing Democratic leaders from excluding the LaRouche candidates.
"You wouldn't think after winning the Democratic Party (nominations), you'd have to ask the court for assistance to address party leaders," Scotillo said.
"I think it's unfortunate that the case had to be filed here," the judge said. "The public has made a decision as to who their candidates are. That happens to run contrary to what the Democratic Party leaders wanted."
Hart, who held a telephone news conference from West Germany on Friday, said she had no plans to attend the convention. She is campaigning for the Patriot Party in upcoming West German elections.
"I don't have plans to come back tomorrow," Hart said. "I won't be back until some time next week."
The surprise victories of Fairchild and Hart threw the Democratic Party into turmoil and prompted gubernatorial candidate Adlai E. Stevenson III to withdraw as the party's nominee.
Stevenson, who is scheduled to address the convention, plans to file a third-party slate of nominal candidates to remain in the race.