A bounty of districts, a bounty of races : News : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
|A bounty of districts, a bounty of races|
|Kendall Co. now home to four state senate, four state house, two congressional districts|
|by Tony Scott|
By the time the general election is over in November, Kendall County will have four state senators, four state representatives and two congressmen.
Residents can thank the General Assembly for carving up new legislative district boundaries, which were approved by the legislature last May.
Because of these new or re-drawn districts, there is a bounty of candidates on the March 20 primary ballot. A total of 20 candidates are seeking office in contested legislative or congressional primary races on this ballot.
Also on the ballot is a wide-open County Board race that includes all 10 board seats. Incumbent board members Jessie Hafenrichter, Elizabeth Flowers, and Nancy Martin have decided not to run for re-election.
The county will be represented by two congressional districts - the 14th and 11th - while it is currently represented by only the 14th District.
Incumbent U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-Winfield Township, is unopposed in the Republican Party primary, but will face either Dennis Anderson of Gurnee or Jon Farnick of Woodstock, two Democrats facing off in their party's primary, in the November general election.
The 11th District is a newly redrawn district that includes portions of Oswego, Montgomery and Boulder Hill. The current 11th District's boundaries are south of Kendall County and includes Joliet and Morris.
U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert, R-Hinsdale, who currently represents the 13th Congressional District, may be opposed by Kane County Clerk Jack Cunningham in the Republican primary.
Cunningham has been fighting to stay on the ballot since he was removed by the State Board of Elections in February. A Cook County judge reversed that ruling, but a state appellate court reversed the Cook County's judge's ruling. As of press time, the State Board of Elections again ruled to remove Cunningham from the ballot.
On the Democratic Party side, the 11th Congressional District's ballot includes Bill Foster of Naperville, who represented the 14th Congressional District from 2008 until his defeat by Hultgren in 2010; Jim Hickey of Orland Park, president of the Orland Fire Protection District Board; and Juan Thomas of Aurora, an attorney.
State Sen. Chris Lauzen, R-Aurora, who currently represents the 25th State Senate District, has decided not to run for re-election to the Senate and is running for Kane County Board chairman against Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns in the Republican primary.
Both the Republican and Democratic parties have candidates in the 25th Senate primary.
Republican candidates for the seat are Jim Oberweis of Sugar Grove, Dave Richmond of Batavia, and Richard Slocum of Sugar Grove. Democratic candidates are Corinne M. Pierog of St. Charles and Steve L. Hunter of Geneva.
Oberweis, chairman of Oberweis Dairy in North Aurora, has run unsuccessfully for the 14th Congressional District, the U.S. Senate, and governor of Illinois. Richmond, an attorney, is the elected Blackberry Township supervisor and ran unsuccessfully against state Rep. Kay Hatcher, R-Yorkville, in the 2010 primary. Slocum, an attorney, is a former member of the West Aurora School Board.
Pierog is a member of the St. Charles School Board and owner of a consulting firm who ran unsuccessfully against state Sen. John Millner, R-Bloomingdale, in 2010. Hunter is employed with AT&T in network operations and reliability.
In the new 49th State Senate District, which doesn't have an incumbent, Gary Fitzgerald of Shorewood, Garrett Peck of Plainfield, Brian J. Smith of Plainfield and Tony Giles of Oswego are seeking the Republican Party nod. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant is the sole Democrat running in her party's primary in the district.
All four of the Republican candidates are currently elected officials: Fitzgerald is a member of the Shorewood Village Board, Giles a member of the Oswego Village Board, Peck a member of the Plainfield Village Board and Smith a member of the Will County Board.
Bertino-Tarrant is the regional superintendent of schools for the Will County Regional Office of Education.
In the redrawn 38th Senate District, which will include much of Kendall County, incumbent Republican Sen. Sue Rezin of Morris is running unopposed in the primary. However, she will face a Democrat in the November general election, as three Democrats are on that party's primary ballot.
Christine Benson of Ottawa serves as superintendent of the Streator Elementary School District, Tom Ganiere of Ottawa is an attorney and member of the LaSalle County Board, and Kevin Kunkel of Granville is a dairy farmer and elected Putnam County treasurer.
Contested primary in
one state House race
The Democratic Party primary is crowded for the new 84th State House District.
On the ballot for the Democrats are three Aurora residents: Alex Arroyo, a flight attendant who has been involved in politics at a local level; Carole Cheney, an attorney who ran unsuccessfully for DuPage County Board chairman in 2010; and Aurora Alderman Stephanie Kifowit, a substitute teacher in East Aurora schools who ran unsuccessfully for Aurora mayor in 2009.
On the Republican side, Pat Fee of Naperville, a nurse who sits on the board of directors for Naperville Community Television, is unopposed.
Three state legislators - Rep. Kay Hatcher, R-Yorkville, Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Aurora, and Rep. Pam Roth, R-Morris - will face opponents in the November general election.
Hatcher (50th House District) will face Andrew Bernard of Batavia, chairman of the Geneva Township Democrats; Holmes (42nd Senate District) will face Republican Peter Hurtado of Plainfield, a member of the Plainfield Park District Board; and Roth (75th House District) will face Jeremy Ly, a member of the Grundy County Board.
State Rep. Tom Cross, R-Oswego, the state House Republican leader, is not opposed in his party's primary and no one is on the ballot in the Democratic Party primary in that district. Cross's district has been redrawn and will be renumbered as the 97th House District.
Republican Party primaries in both districts of the County Board are crowded with several candidates. Voters can choose up to five candidates on each primary ballot in the County Board race.
In the District One GOP primary, the following candidates are on the ballot; incumbents are marked with an (i): John Shaw of Yorkville (i), Jeffrey Spang of Newark, Judy Gilmour of Yorkville, John Purcell of Yorkville (i), Suzanne Petrella of Yorkville (i), Matthew Prochaska of Bristol, Todd Milliron of Yorkville, and Robert "H.D." Davidson of Plano (i).
Amy Cesich of Yorkville is the lone Democrat on her primary's ballot in District One.
In the District Two GOP primary, the following candidates are on the ballot: Scott Gryder of Oswego, Lynn Cullick of Oswego, Anne Vickery of Minooka (i), Michael Becker of Oswego, Dan Koukol of Oswego (i), Jeffrey Wehrli of Oswego (i), Thomas McWilliams of Aurora, and Jeremy Swanson of Montgomery.
Candidates for District Two in the Democratic Party primary are Evelyn Maxine Givens of Oswego, Kristine Heiman of Oswego and Herman Johnson of Oswego.
Three elected county officials are also up for re-election this year. Circuit Court Clerk Becky Morganegg, State's Attorney Eric Weis and Coroner Ken Toftoy, all Yorkville residents and Republicans, are not facing opponents on the primary ballot. Also, no Democrats filed for those positions on that party's primary ballot.
Two Republicans are also on the primary ballot for new department head positions that may or may not be created, as they are subjects of referendums on the primary ballot.
Alvin "Phil" Smith of Oswego is on the ballot as county auditor, and Jerry Bannister of Oswego is on the ballot as county recorder of deeds. No Democrats filed for those positions on that party's primary ballot.
Two referendums on the ballot ask voters to eliminate the separate offices of recorder of deeds and auditor, as the county is required to create them because it passed a population threshold of 60,000 before the 2010 census. The office of recorder already exists, combined with the office of county clerk.
If voters choose to reject the referendums, the new separate offices will be created. If they approve them, they will be eliminated, keeping the status quo.
Also on the ballot is a referendum asking voters for a 75-cent increase in their 911 land-line telephone surcharge for KenCom emergency dispatch services. County officials hope the resulting revenue will help pay for a much-needed equipment upgrade at the dispatch center.
Finally, voters in the municipalities of Oswego, Montgomery, Yorkville, Plano, Plainfield, Aurora, Sandwich, Joliet and Minooka will be able to vote on referendums that would allow their municipalities to negotiate on their residents' behalf for cheaper electric rates. Residents can then "opt-out" of the program if they want to stick with ComEd.
In the race for a new judicial circuit in Kendall County, the 23rd Judicial Circuit, Republicans Melissa S. Barnhart and David S. Kim are on that party's primary ballot.
Barnhart is currently an associate judge presiding at the Kendall County Courthouse in Yorkville, and served as interim Kendall County State's Attorney in 2005 and 2006 following the appointment of then-State's Attorney Tim McCann as judge.
Kim is an attorney in private practice in Naperville. He is a former Winnebago County assistant state's attorney.