Elgin Township Clerk Kurt Kojzarek announced Thursday his plan to run for the Kane County Board seat in the newly redrawn District 19. That gives one of the county board's longest-serving members a Republican primary challenge, at least for now.
Cathy Hurlbut is the incumbent in District 19. She had two GOP challengers at the onset of her last campaign for re-election. The challengers, Nathan Akemann and Stan Hickrod, both dropped out of the race before the primary. Asked about rumors he may take another shot at a county board seat, Hickrod at first said he had no comment. He called back 10 minutes later to ask more about the rumors and said, "I don't know what you're talking about."
With redistricting, Hickrod now lives in county board District 21. Hickrod also has a contract with Kane County to cremate euthanized animals.
Kojzarek said there is nothing that will make him drop out of the race.
"I'm in it to win it," Kojzarek said. "This is really a perfect district. The area is almost tailor made for me."
Kojzarek said he has spent most of his life growing up and now raising a family within the district's boundaries. The district covers parts of Elgin and Gilberts. He believes the relationships he has built in the area over all those years will create the base of support and local knowledge he needs to unseat Hurlbut.
Kojzarek has served Elgin Township for the last six years, first as a trustee and currently as the clerk. In his professional life, Kojzarek is the director of operations for Property Specialists Inc., a residential property management firm. He also has work experience advocating for affordable housing and in serving as Kane County's representative to the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, a organization that focuses on regional strategies for future land use and development.
Kojzarek said in a written statement that he will run on a platform of fiscal discipline.
"Across the nation the growing sentiment among voters is that we need to stop the spending, rein in waste and put people back to work," Kojzarek said. "Kane County is no different. We cannot continue to nickel and dime our businesses with increased taxes and fees if we expect to grow the economy and attract new businesses to our region."
During the recent county board redistricting process, Hurlbut said she believed she could win another term in office. However, she didn't specifically commit to running for the county board again. She could not be reached for comment Thursday.