Federal suit accuses Chicago Democrats of illegally running for office as Republicans
Man holding a vote badge (Shutterstock)

The Republican Party chapters in both Chicago and Cook County, Illinois filed a federal lawsuit accusing Democrats of infiltrating their party in violation of a new bylaw, Courtroom News reported.

According to the suit, Sammy Tenuta and Frances Sapone's wins in the party's state primary this past March are null and void because both were actually Democrats. Sapone won the race to be the GOP commissioner for Chicago's 29th Ward, while Tenuta ran unopposed in the 36th Ward.

The lawsuit states that both candidates were disqualified from running because they voted in another party's primary within the past eight years, as mandated under a bylaw approved last year. It specifically accuses Sapone of being "a perfect example of why the new bylaw was passed" because of what it described as a record of voting for Democrats.

Republican officials said in the complaint that they "uncovered a pattern" of Democrats filing to appear on ballots for the party's March primary.

"The wave of unusual filings was an organized effort to install Democratic Party operatives as Republican Ward Committeemen," the suit argued.

The suit came about after Sapone and Tenuta objected to the nomination of another Republican, Jeffrey Leef, as the party's candidate for the state's 7th Congressional district. Leef will run against incumbent state Rep. Danny Davis (D).