Two candidates seeking the Republican nomination for Kane County Coroner not only differ in their backgrounds, but vary in what they plan to do with the office if elected.
Rob Russell, a sergeant with the DuPage County Sheriff's Office, and Bob Tiballi, a pediatrician and infectious disease specialist, will square off on March 20 for the GOP nod.
Tiballi, an Elgin resident who believes being a practicing physician makes him the best candidate for the four-year seat, wants the office to take an active role in promoting public safety.
Tiballi said he could envision the office helping to conduct public awareness campaigns against preventable deaths, especially those in the home; cords from mini-blinds are one example.
"I hate death. I hate everything about death," said Tiballi, who believes his background will aid him in reviewing reports from a forensic pathologist, who conducts the actual autopsy.
Russell, a South Elgin resident who believes his law enforcement background makes him best suited for the office, said that if elected he would work to have the office accredited through a one-year program through the International Association of Coroners and Medical Examiners.
The accreditation process would have auditors, trained by the association, determine if Kane County adheres to some 130 standards. The process would be similar to a process undertaken by a police department or sheriff's department.
Russell, who views the coroner as more of an investigator, also disagreed with Tiballi on his view of death.
"I don't hate death. I respect it. It's part of life," Russell said. "It's not something any of us can control."
The winner in March will take on Democrat Tao Martinez in the November election.