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posted: 3/16/2012 5:30 AM

Democrats have contested primaries in Aurora-area Kane board races

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  • Angie Greviskes

      Angie Greviskes

  • Ron Ford

      Ron Ford

  • Juan Reyna

      Juan Reyna

  • Jennifer Laesch

      Jennifer Laesch

  • Myrna Molina

      Myrna Molina

 
 

There are three contested Democratic primaries Tuesday for Kane County Board districts that primarily serve Aurora residents.

The District 1 Democratic primary features familiar faces: incumbent Myrna Molina and the woman she beat in the last election, Sylvia Leonberger.

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Leonberger did not answer the Daily Herald's candidate questionnaire. According to her Facebook page, she has lived on the east side of Aurora for 35 years. She wrote that she volunteers for Family Focus, the Urban League's TSTM program, East Aurora School District 131, the Latina Health Fair and the Fox Valley Special Recreation Association. She has served on the boards of Neighborhood Housing Services of Aurora, Centro Pan Americano, Community Counseling Services, Girl Scouts of the Fox Valley Council, the Illinois Bilingual Education Council and the Illinois Hispanic Dropout Task Force.

The retired teacher served on the Kane County Board from 2006 to 2010, and was unseated by Molina.

Besides her current stint, Molina served on the board for three months in 2006 when she was appointed to a vacancy.

Myrna, on her questionnaire, cited public accessibility to information about the county government as her No. 1 issue. In the 2010 campaign, she criticized Leonberger for not doing more to inform constituents.

As to whether she would take the optional health insurance and pension offered to county board members, Molina said, "Everyone should have access to health care."

The 33-year-old is a medical administrator. She serves on the Aurora Housing Authority and the Aurora Housing Task Force.

In the District 3 Democratic primary, incumbent Juan Reyna is challenged by Jennifer Laesch.

Reyna has been on the board since 2010, having defeated Laesch in the Democratic primary. Laesch had been appointed to the board in November 2009.

Reyna, a lifelong Aurora resident, works for Kraft Foods in Naperville. He served in the Army for five years, has taught Catholic catechism classes, and volunteered at Hesed House homeless shelter.

Reyna cited his experience in the area, along with his bilingual skills, as important to serving the residents of District 3, many of whom are Hispanic.

He sits on the committee that wrote the new proposed ethics ordinance, and believes one of its strongest parts is the fines that could be levied for violations. They will be a "strong deterrent," he said.

Reyna does not favor taking away the option of purchasing health insurance from county board members, although he does not use it himself.

Laesch did not fill out the Daily Herald's questionnaire and could not be reached for an interview.

In District 6, incumbent Ron Ford, who has served on the board since 2008, faces a challenge in the Democratic primary from Angie Greviskes.

Greviskes is the wife of former Kane County Board member Paul Greviskes. She lists volunteer service with the Kiwanis Club, Court-Appointed Special Advocates, the Visiting Nurse Association board, and has been a voter registrar. Greviskes believes county resources should be used to help people avoid mortgage foreclosures, including distributing loans or grants from the riverboat casino fund.

She wants the county to help organize community meetings to teach people about college scholarships and help them fill out college financial aid forms. And the county needs to develop or support existing after-school enrichment programs for poor and at-risk children, she wrote in a Daily Herald questionnaire.

Ford, a general contractor, has served on the finance, judicial and public safety committees.

A topic that frustrates him, he says, is funding for the public health department, which closed one of its Aurora facilities. "The bottom line is dealing with the state" over its delayed reimbursements, and cuts, for services the county provides.

He believes with contractors hungry for work due to the recession, the county could improve the employment situation by starting infrastructure projects now, and for lesser cost.

Tough decisions coming up for the board include whether to give nonunion employees raises. "Some haven't had a raise for awhile. We are not out of this crisis yet, But we have to have a heart for our employees," he said.

No Republicans filed for the primary in Districts 1, 3 and 6.

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