Man with uncommon name survives ballot challenge

December 15, 2010 (AURORA, Ill.)

Wilson is running for alderman in Aurora's Sixth Ward, but was challenged over questions pertaining to his middle name and petition signatures. He survived the name challenge after presenting his birth certificate, and even though several signatures on his petition were ruled invalid, in the end he had enough, according to Linda Fechner, executive director of the Aurora Election Commission.

"Make sure you vote in the upcoming election," Wilson told a voter Wednesday.

The political newcomer had little name recognition, but all that changed Monday night, thanks to Jay Leno.

"Candidates for alderman include Isaac Count De Money Wilson," Leno said on his show.

"I looked at the clip. I couldn't believe it. But I was actually proud. It's a great show, Jay Leno, and the fact that he mentioned the city of Aurora. I think it's great," Wilson told ABC7.

Wilson said Count De Money is really his middle name, given to him by a father with an offbeat sense of humor. But when he tried to put his full name on the ballot, a challenge was filed by his opponent, seven-term alderman Mike Saville who serves Aurora's Sixth Ward.

"We just need some clarification, because there were questions, and we just had to have those questions answered appropriately in this forum today," said Saville.

Saville said documents show Wilson only added his middle name to voter registration records last year.

When asked if it was a campaign ploy Wilson said, "no, it's not. That is my name."

So at a hearing Wednesday before the Aurora Election Commission, Wilson presented his birth certificate. Sure enough it says "Count De Money."

"If that's his real name, I'm fine with that. I think that's OK," said Saville.

Will Wilson count the money if elected?

"If they invite me to be on the finance committee, I definitely will be. But if elected, I'm going to serve the people, and if the people decide that's best for me to do that, I'll do that," he said.

But Wilson's name wasn't the only issue. Saville also challenged Wilson's petition signatures.

"There were people who were not registered to vote not only in the ward, but at the address they said they were living at," said Saville.

"Absolutely, I think he sees me as a threat. He's run uncontested for years," said Wilson.

The primary election in Aurora is set tentatively for February 22, 2011.

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