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EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — The mayor of Edwardsville is headed for the Illinois Supreme Court to argue his case to remain on the ballot for the 56th district’s state senate seat.

Mayor Hal Patton was tossed off the ballot last month by a Cook County judge after the State Board of Elections failed to adopt the recommendation of a hearing officer to remove Patton.

Patton, a Republican, signed the re-election petitions of Democratic State Rep. Katie Stuart of Edwardsville. State law prohibits a person from running for the nomination of one party after signing the election petition of a candidate from another party. Attorney Burt Odelson calls the court’s decision a violation of freedom of association.

Patton went straight to the state Supreme Court because military ballots already have been sent out and early voting for the March 20 primary is scheduled to start Thursday.

Patton wants to succeed Democratic Sen. Bill Haine of Alton, who is not running for re-election.