Fittest loser
Article updated: 11/19/2012 5:24 PM

Primary election likely in Aurora's 4th, 9th wards

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Five candidates filed nominating petitions Monday for a city council seat in Aurora's 9th Ward and six filed in Ward 4, setting the stage for a pair of Feb. 26 primary elections.

The top four vote-getters in the primaries for each of the two wards will advance to the April 9 general election.

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More than a dozen candidates in all lined up outside the Aurora Election Commission early Monday to submit nominating petitions for spots on the April ballot. The filing period continues through the end of the day Nov. 26.

Five of those candidates filed to vie for the 9th Ward seat held by Alderman Allan Lewandowski, who was appointed to the post last year. Ward 9 is on the city's far southeast side and spans parts of DuPage, Kendall and Will counties

Those who already have filed for the seat are:

• Bob Shelton, who previously served as alderman-at-large from 2003-07;

• Marge Linnane, who has served on the 9th Ward committee since 2003 and was appointed to Aurora's Block Grant Working Committee in 2010;

• Matt Harrington, a political consultant who was removed from the ballot during a bid for Aurora alderman-at-large in 2011;

• and Mike Ochs and Edward Bugg who, along with Harrington, applied for the post when it was vacated last year by former Alderman Leroy Keith.

Aurora voters in April will elect aldermen in the city's 2nd, 4th, 7th, 9th and 10th wards as well as one at-large alderman and the mayor.

No more than four candidates can appear on the April ballot for any of the posts. If five or more people file, as they have in the 9th and 4th wards, it triggers the February primary to narrow the field to four.

Ward 4 Alderman Rick Lawrence is not seeking re-election, and instead filed to run for alderman-at-large against incumbent Bob O'Connor, who also filed.

Six candidates filed Monday to compete for Lawrence's 4th Ward seat. They are:

• Jay Leonardi, a 19-year-old Waubonsee Community College student and his older cousin, Mike Leonardi. Both are members of the family that runs Leonardi Appliance in Aurora.

• Mavis Bates, who ran for Kane County Clerk in 2010. She is an Aurora acupuncturist and founder of the Aurora Green Fest.

• Bill Donnell, a landscape architect who retired from the Fox Valley Park District after 27 years and who serves as chairman of the Aurora planning commission.

• Chuck Norris, a mail carrier and part-time police officer, who ran against Lawrence in 2008.

• Kevin Matthews, who also previously ran for the council.

Mayor Tom Weisner was among the first of those to file Monday. He is seeking a third 4-year term after first being elected in 2005.

Weisner said he collected 1,500 signatures on his nominating petition and is prepared for any competition that may come.

"You've got to think of all contingencies," Weisner said.

No other mayoral candidates filed Monday.

In the 10th Ward, incumbent Lynda Elmore is not seeking re-election. Judd Lofchie, an attorney, developer and co-founder of Aurora Business United, has filed to pursue her seat.

In Ward 7, longtime incumbent Scheketa Hart-Burns was the lone candidate to file Monday.

No aldermanic candidates filed in the 2nd Ward.

In addition, Ward 3 Alderman Stephanie Kifowit is expected to officially resign Tuesday after winning election to the state legislature earlier this month.

Officials at the Aurora Election Commission said if Kifowit resigns as planned, candidates may begin filing for her seat by Wednesday morning.

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