The only Republican who filed to run for Congress in the 4th Congressional District last December has died.
Christopher Lasky, of Berwyn, died on Dec. 23 at the age of 61. He had been suffering from a respiratory infection and died in his sleep, his brother Jerry said. Lasky, who grew up in Stickney, was a frequent candidate for local office. He served for two years on the Board of Trustees of the Stickney-Forest View Public Library District.
Lasky’s name will be removed from the primary ballot, said Matt Dietrich, the spokesman for the Illinois State Board of Election, although his name was still on the primary ballot when it was certified.
Dietrich said the Board of Elections did not know of Lasky’s death until informed of it by the Landmark.
Lasky submitted nominating petitions with only 29 signatures. Republican candidates in the overwhelmingly Democratic 4th Congressional District, which includes Riverside, are supposed to have 180 valid signatures on nominating petitions, but Dietrich said the Board of Elections only administratively removes candidates who submit fewer than 10 percent of the required signatures.
Since no one challenged Lasky nominating petitions, he would have remained on the ballot had he lived, Dietrich said.
Lasky, who graduated from Morton West High School and Aurora University lived with his sister in Berwyn at the time of his death. Lasky was an avid reader and like games, especially the fantasy gamebook Lost Worlds and chess. He enjoyed going to the GenCon gaming convention every year.
“He liked to read a lot,” said Jerry Lasky. “He knew a lot of obscure facts.”
Republican Party officials, if they choose, will have the opportunity to pick a replacement candidate to be placed on the November general election ballot.
“We intend to field a candidate in every congressional district,” said Joe Hackler, a spokesman for the Illinois Republican Party. “There will be slating process now in the 4th due to Mr. Lasky’s unfortunate passing.”
In 2018, Riverside resident Mark Lorch ran against Garcia in the general election, but received only about 15 percent of the vote in the heavily Hispanic and heavily Democratic district.
Lorch did better on his home turf wining approximately 37 percent of the vote in Riverside, 37.5 percent of the vote in North Riverside, and 30.5 percent of the vote in Brookfield.
Jerry Lasky didn’t know his brother had filed to run for Congress.
“It came as a surprise to me,” Lasky said. “I’m his brother and I was helping him out with certain things, but he didn’t tell me everything. … You think you know your brother and then at the funeral I met all these friends I didn’t know he had.”