Kevin Burns and Chris Lauzen are both members of the same Republican Party, but that doesn't mean they must agree on the best ways to run Kane County if elected chairman of the county board. In fact, they don't even have to like each other.
Burns, the mayor of Geneva, and Lauzen, a state senator, dropped much of the thin veil that's muted the tension between them during an endorsement interview Friday.
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Lauzen cited votes he cast as a state senator for pay cuts, against tax increases with no explanation of how the money will be spent, and speeches about the need for pension reform as evidence that he has the most appealing conservative message. By including a statement that he is a pro-life, pro-marriage candidate who supports, "honest, competent administration," the gloves came off.
"Chris obviously hates homosexuals, is afraid of women and believes that only he has the answers to everything," Burns said. "That's sad."
"Are you joking?" Lauzen responded.
"No, I'm not joking," Burns replied. "I'm dead, fricking serious."
"Yeah, fricking serious," Burns repeated. "You use the words 'competent administration' as if it's some sort of synonym that I'm incompetent."
Burns then described Lauzen as "hypocrisy run amok in wing tips" before listing his accomplishments as mayor of Geneva. Burns said he's cut government regulation that blocked business recruitment and growth in the city, opened the city's financial books for all to see, and increased accessibility for all residents to address issues directly to their elected representatives.
"I'm running for Kane County Board chairman to represent all 500,000 people who call Kane County home," Burns said. "My opponent is running to divide the county, to surround himself with only people who think like him, that will behave like him. It is, in essence, political eugenics."
Lauzen responded that Burns was attacking him to hide an exaggerated resume that shows extended unemployment gaps.
"Any business who has a successful employee, they are going to hold on to you, and you're going to repeat the success that you've had," Lauzen said. "He's saying I go in and I turn it around as opposed to saying I have a hard time showing stability in my employment record."
Burns said anyone with questions about his resume or quality of work in the private sector should ask the U.S. Olympic Committee, U.S. Figure Skating, the U.S. Equestrian team or Midwestern or Roosevelt universities how good he is. "Mr. Lauzen, you're dumber than you look," Burns said. "You don't know the Olympic world. You don't know the development world. I work on contract, my friend. So stability has nothing to do with it."
When not ducking or throwing verbal jabs, Burns and Lauzen did speak of policy difference. Of note, Lauzen dismisses the idea of hiring a full-time administrator to run day-to-day operations of the county as a needless layer of bureaucracy. Burns said an administrator is a position he'll seriously consider creating if elected. However, Burns also said he'll cut the chairman's salary by 10 percent if he wins the seat and by far more than that if a full-time administrator comes on board.