The way to the November general election seemed to be paved for three incumbents and a Crystal Lake City Council member running for the four seats in McHenry County's District 2 until a fifth one -- Thomas Wilbeck -- joined the race on the last filing day.
Also running are Democrats Jim Roden and James Kennedy. District 2 includes parts of Algonquin and Grafton townships.
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Here is a look at the Republicans running in the March 22 primary, where one of them will get weeded out:
• County Board Chairman Kenneth Koehler, 64, of Crystal Lake, has served on the board since 2000, and as chairman since 2004. Koehler also serves on the boards for Sherman Hospital and Sherman Health Systems. He co-founded the McHenry County Conservation Foundation and the McHenry County Economic Development Commission, and served on the McHenry County Conservation District board.
Koehler believes the county must balance declining revenues while maintaining a strong commitment to infrastructure, economic development and the protection of its environmental resources. He wants to make sure the county retains existing businesses while looking for opportunities to attract new ones.
• Board member James Heisler, 70, Crystal Lake, has served on the county board since 1992. He chairs the county board's legislative committee and serves on the finance and audit, law and justice, and planning and development committees. He has served on the board of the Crystal Lake Historic Preservation Commission and the Crystal Lake Historical Society. He owns two shoe stores in Crystal Lake.
Creating new jobs in McHenry County is essential to the long-term financial stability of the county, Heisler said. That needs to be done by both retaining current businesses and bringing in new ones. McHenry County is a constantly growing county, and sound water conservation and stormwater management policies are essential, he says.
• Board member Donna Kurz, 52, of Crystal Lake, has served on the board since 2010. She serves on the county board's building projects, natural and environmental, management services, and public health and human services committees. She also served as trustee for McHenry County College from 2005 to 2010. She works as director of business development for an IT consulting company.
Kurtz says she's a proponent of smaller government and advocates decreasing the size of the county board. She also supports freezing or eliminating some county government positions. She opposes expensive capital building projects because of the state of the economy, but believes in investing in transportation and infrastructure improvements such as repairs to roads and bridges.
• Carolyn Schofield, 39, of Crystal Lake, is a Crystal Lake City Council member who served on the city's planning and zoning commission for 10 years before being elected to her current post in 2009. She serves on the McHenry County Council of Governments Water Policy Task Force, and as secretary for the McHenry County Youth Sports Association.
Schofield said she wants to ensure the county has a sound groundwater protection plan that includes educating and encouraging residents to utilize water conservation methods, and building concepts such as cluster housing and multistory buildings. As a city council member, Schofield conceptualized the rain barrel incentive program in which residents can apply for a rebate if they purchase and install a rain barrel.
• Thomas Wilbeck, 61, of Lakewood, is a semiretired financial services consultant who serves on the Seneca Township planning commission. He previously served as Seneca Township trustee from 2001 to 2005.
He believes in being fiscally conservative, and in the need to attract and retain businesses in McHenry County. Wilbeck says he wants to cut the county's expenses by eliminating unnecessary positions, such as that of the regional superintendent of schools. The county needs to reach out to business owners to ensure their needs are met, and it needs to simplify and increase transparency in its contracting process, he said.