Mike Madigan`s Republican `opponent` suddenly withdraws - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Madigan`s Republican `opponent` suddenly withdraws his candidacy

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Terrence Goggin, who filed to run as a Republican against Democratic powerbroker Mike Madigan, suddenly dropped out of the race Thursday.

A few weeks ago, FOX 32 went in search of the mysterious Mr. Goggin when he filed as a candidate in the 22nd District. It's the fourth time he's run as the Republican candidate against Mike Madigan, yet the Republicans say they have no idea who he is and believe he was planted in the race by the Madigan campaign.

On Thursday, just a couple hours before a court challenge to his campaign--by the Republicans--Goggin dropped out of the race.

FOX 32's Dane Placko went to Goggin's home in the Southwest Side to give him an opportunity to respond to Republican Chris Cleveland, who had this to say: "Today, the Chicago Republican Party scored a significant victory over the Madigan organization. Mike Madigan's fake Republican opponent withdrew."

But, once again, nobody answered the door.

Republicans say they had built a strong case that there was a pattern of fraud in the signatures on Goggin's nominating petitions.

At 2 o'clock Thursday afternoon, the State Board of Elections was scheduled to hear testimony from five of the people who went door to door gathering those signatures. But, just two hours before those so-called "circulators" were to be put under oath. Goggin submitted a form withdrawing his candidacy and the hearing was canceled.

"Madigan did not want his operatives to have to testify under oath," Cleveland said. "They would have had to explain under oath why it is they went out and got fraudulent signatures. They would have had to talk about who paid them, if they were paid to do this. They would have had to talk about who they worked for in the past."

Earlier this month, FOX 32 went door-to-door trying to talk to the people who passed Goggin's Republican petitions, all of whom have a history of pulling Democratic ballots in the primary.

The stepfather of circulator Angela Reyes was the only one to answer the door and tell us "no comment."

When asked if Reyes has ever worked for Madigan before, the man responded: "I think...the only thing she used to do was go with the precinct captain to interpret for the Spanish people in that district."

"So she supports Mike Madigan?" FOX 32's Dane Placko asked.

"I believe so," he answered.

"But here she is passing petitions for his opponent," Dane said, continuing to prod. "That doesn't make sense."

"Oh...I don't know what to tell you," he said.

Goggin had run as a Republican against Madigan three times before, but never put out a yard sign or campaign photo, never created a website, and never opened a campaign fund.

Republicans say they will now work to find a so-called "real" candidate to slate against Madigan.

"We have spoken to any number of people who said they would like to be a candidate, but they're afraid," Cleveland explained. "We're saying you don't need to be afraid anymore. You can step up and run against him."

Realistically, even Republican Abraham Lincoln would have trouble beating Madigan in the 22nd District, which tilts heavily Democratic. But the Republicans say that at least want it to be a fair fight.

We reached out to Madigan's spokesman for reaction to these developments, but haven't heard back.

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