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State senate candidate denies allegation of faking endorsements

Democratic state Senate candidate Greg Hannon denied allegations from opponent Mike Hastings that he faked endorsements from churches in the 19th district.

Hastings said in a news release that Hannon falsified endorsements from pastors Andrew Singleton of Victory Apostolic Church and Trunell Felder from New Faith Baptist Church – both in Matteson.

Hastings said it was “a shame” Hannon had included these two pastors on a list. “The people of the 19th District do not deserve to be lied to,” Hastings said.

Hannon said Wednesday that recent literature he has sent out contained the phrase “endorsed or supported by” a list of people, including the two pastors.

“They were supportive of me when I made appearances at their churches,” Hannon said. “They vocalized their support and allowed us to put literature out at their church. To me an endorsement is when you write a letter on someone’s behalf. Support is when a person allows you to put a sign in their yard. That person is supporting you. When someone allows us to go in and introduces us to their congregation and allows us to put literature in and around the church, we consider that as support.”

As of Wednesday afternoon, however, Hannon’s website said “Greg is endorsed by numerous government officials, a significant portion of labor unions on the South Side, multiple clergymen, media and other leaders across Illinois,” including a list containing the names of the two pastors, but without the word “support.”

Singleton said Wednesday, “I did not endorse him and I’m trying to get in contact with him to remove me from that list because I really don’t appreciate that. We don’t endorse anyone because we are a church. But I have a right as a citizen to say who I support and the only person I’ve supported was Congressman (Jesse) Jackson. And if I had to say I had to support anyone (in the 19th district race) it would be Michael Hastings.”

Felder did not return a message seeking comment.

Hannon said it was a “non-story” and would rather focus on issues in the race.

The primary election is Tuesday. The 19th District serves all or part of Tinley Park, Orland Park, Joliet, Frankfort, Lockport, Mokena, New Lenox, Homer Glen Country Club Hills, Dixmoor, Flossmoor, Hazel Crest, Homewood, Markham, Matteson, Monee, Oak Forest, Olympia Fields, Park Forest and Richton Park.

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