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updated: 1/23/2012 9:26 AM

Democratic field for 84th House District still in flux

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Voters in the new 84th House District soon will find out just how many Democratic candidates they'll find on their ballots in the March 20 primary.

Four candidates have filed to run in the Democratic primary for the newly drawn district, which includes all or parts of Aurora, Naperville, Oswego, Montgomery and Boulder Hill.

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As of now, the Democratic candidates are Alex Arroyo, Carole Cheney, Stephanie Kifowit and Ken Maurice, all of Aurora. Patricia Fee of Aurora is the only Republican candidate running for the seat.

But one of those Democrats -- Maurice -- has a hearing scheduled for Tuesday on a challenge filed against his nominating petitions.

The State Officers Electoral Board of the Illinois State Board of Elections already held a records examination of Maurice's petitions Dec. 29, but both Maurice and the person challenging his candidacy filed motions following that hearing.

The board can choose to overrule or sustain the objection if it is not withdrawn.

The Democratic race shaping up involves candidates with plenty of political ties to the Aurora area.

Arroyo, 42, is an elected Democratic committeeman and former chairman of the Aurora Democratic Party. He works as a flight attendant for United Airlines and says as a lifelong Auroran, he is the "hometown guy."

"My family history of community service is really deep, as opposed to the candidates who moved here from other places," Arroyo said. "I want to help people who really need it and be the voice for those who don't have it."

Cheney, 51, works as an attorney and in the past has held jobs with the National Safety Council and as press secretary for the Illinois State Senate Democrats. Locally, she said she serves on the board of the nonprofit Feed My Starting Children.

"I have a broad base of experience in the public, the private and the nonprofit sectors," Cheney said.

Kifowit, 40, is an Aurora alderman and works as a substitute teacher in East Aurora District 131. A veteran of the Marines, Kifowit said her background in the military and her degrees in political science and public administration give her the experience she needs to work in state government.

"My degree is uniquely tailored for government and government service," she said. "My military background is fundamental leadership and service to my country."

Maurice declined to answer questions about his views on statewide issues or what sets him apart from the other Democrats seeking the 84th District seat, saying in an email he first is concerned with "fighting to stay on the ballot."

His campaign website says he works for the city of Aurora in youth services and is a board member for the Kane County State's Attorney's Second Chance program that gives first-time nonviolent offenders the chance to prevent a conviction from permanently ending up on their record.

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