With several incumbents retiring, there are ample candidates for seats on the 18-member DuPage County Board. Contested Republican primaries are in county board Districts 2, 3, 5 and 6, plus a rare contested Democratic primary in District 6. Here are our endorsements:
District 2 Republican:
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Eight candidates, none incumbents, are running for the three seats. There are more than three good candidates, but the ones who stand out for us are Zachary Wilson, a Lombard trustee who will leave the village board if elected; Elaine Zannis, an Oak Brook trustee who pledges the same thing, and Mike Loftus, a former Lisle school board member. All three are "good government" candidates with enough real-world experience to be effective board members, and hit the ground running in a district where the representation is turning completely over. Also running are Peter DiCianni, Charles Mueller, Sean Noonan and Rafael Rivadeneira, all of Elmhurst; and James Long of Downers Grove.
District 3 Republican:
Brian Krajewski, the former mayor of Downers Grove, a CPA and attorney; and John Curran, of Woodridge, a Cook County assistant state's attorney, are the incumbent board members here. Both are hardworking officials, who through their work on the integrated accounting system and other efficiencies show they are dedicated to ending duplicative services where possible. They are both enthusiastically endorsed. No endorsement is forthcoming for the final seat. Burr Ridge Mayor Gary Grasso is a solutions-based leader like Krajewski and Curran, but his intention to be mayor and commissioner simultaneously makes him ineligible for endorsement. The Daily Herald holds that a dual office holder is subject to conflicts of interest for his time, as well as his loyalty. Former longtime county board member and judge Ken Moy of Hinsdale, is also running in the GOP primary.
District 5 Republican:
Seven candidates are seeking three seats in District 5, which includes parts of Aurora, Lisle, Naperville, Warrenville and Woodridge. Candidates are Richard Furstenau of Naperville, Patricia Gustin of Naperville, James Healy of Naperville, Tonia Khouri of Aurora, Paul Santucci of Aurora, Ed Young of Lisle and John Zediker of Naperville. Healy and Zediker are incumbents and are two of the board's most competent and hardest-working members. They deserve to be retained. For the third spot, Young, a longtime Lisle trustee, gets the nod. He shows constructive feistiness and is very well-informed for a non-incumbent.
District 6 Democratic:
Dave Barry of Bartlett, Terrell Barnes of Roselle, Dirk Enger of Winfield and Lauren Nowak of Bartlett are running for three seats. Enger's an incumbent who has worked hard, has one of the county board's best attendance records, and says he has fulfilled his campaign pledges. Enger is recommended, as are Barnes and Nowak for the diversity they'd bring to the board. Both are young and not afraid the seek out-of-the-box solutions. Nowak, for instance, suggests an hourly wage to settle the debate on whether the part-time board members earn their $50,000-a-year salary.
District 6 Republican:
Robert Larsen of Wheaton, David Sabathne of West Chicago, Tom Sutton of Wayne, Kevin Wiley of West Chicago and James Zay of Carol Stream are seeking three seats. Larsen and Zay are the incumbents. Both are engaged and effective board members who should be kept on. We also like Wiley, an Army lieutenant colonel and Iraq War veteran. But Sabathne has a strong record as a West Chicago alderman. He's also a diligent member of the DuPage Airport Authority and has done his homework on county issues. His resume cannot be ignored. Sabathne is endorsed.