4 candidates outline why they want the job
The person elected representative of Kane County Board District 2 in November has a varied population to represent, to say the least.
The district kind of looks like a squished shape of Texas. It goes as far north, approximately, as Secretariat Drive and east to Savannah Drive, in northeast Aurora; as far west in spots as Randall Road in North Aurora; and a narrow peninsula of it dips as far south as Downer Place in Aurora. It includes part of Aurora, a town that is 41 percent Hispanic, and North Aurora, which is 84 percent white non-Hispanic.
"It's a puzzle piece," said Theresa Barreiro of Aurora, one of two people seeking the Democratic nomination for the seat.
She will face her longtime family friend, Arthur Velasquez of North Aurora, in the March 20 primary.
"We should have called each other," Barreiro said, chuckling, during an endorsement interview. Her mother has worked with Velasquez on political campaigns.
Barreiro, 49, a client services and marketing assistant, is an Aurora Township precinct committeeman, and has volunteered at Annunciation School and the Marywood Community Center.
Velasquez, 77, is retired. He was an international representative for the carpenters' union, and is president of the Aurora council of the League of United Latin American Citizens.
Barreiro cited her deep roots in the area when asked why she is running for office. "I'm a fifth-generation Auroran," she said, raised by a mother who taught her that it was important to serve the community. Barreiro said she received "a lot of telephone calls" from people asking her to run.
"I feel an opportunity, with the change in leadership in the county, to make a difference," said Velasquez. "We waste a lot of money ... too many consultants," he said.
Will Passalaqua and Sal Abbate, both from North Aurora, are seeking the Republican nomination.
Passalaqua, 44, is an engineer in the newspaper and commercial printing industry. He is a Batavia Township precinct committeeman, an Air Force veteran, and a member of the Aurora Sportsmen's Club.
"I got fed up with economic and personal rights" being trampled, locally and nationally, he said, and so became involved in local Republican politics. "I feel it is time to take it up a notch."
Abbate, a regional sales manager, is an Aurora Township precinct committeeman. He was also an Addison Township precinct committeeman in the late 1990s.
"Since then I like to think that I've helped many Republican candidates get on a ballot and get elected. And I've always felt good about that and I felt like I was part of something. I'm in the huddle," he said.
" ... For me it's time to get out of the huddle, it's time to get out and do something, it's time to get out and lead and serve," Abbate said.
As far as district needs, Passalaqua and Barreiro focused on infrastructure, such as road projects. "Can you (the county and the state) come a little south for us?" Passalaqua asked.
Barreiro believes more cooperation and coordination is needed between the townships and the county on issues like building and maintaining roads and sidewalks in the unincorporated areas.
Velasquez cited the need for an improved ethics law — and its enforcement — as a district priority.
Abbate said the district needs someone who will attend all the meetings "and do the research necessary to make common sense decisions, and bring good conservative values."
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