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Article updated: 11/26/2012 6:34 PM

Field of 23 candidates files for Elgin council races

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The list of candidates for Elgin City Council filled out on the last day of filing Monday.

Ten people are running for a single 2-year seat, which means a primary will be held Feb. 26. The field of 15 candidates running for four, 4-year seats will not be narrowed through a primary, however. They will face off in the April 9 general election.

All three council incumbents -- Richard Dunne, John Prigge and Robert Gilliam, Elgin's longest-serving councilman with 40 years on the governing body -- are running for re-election. Many of their opponents are first-timers in the quest for office.

Andrew Cuming, a Web designer who moved to Elgin almost three years ago, is running for a 4-year seat to have a say in the city's future.

"It's a great city, it's got a great population, but right now we're heading in a direction with it that is not sustainable," Cuming said.

Jason Dusenberry, a hotel general manager, has lived in Elgin for close to four years, and he serves on the board of the Elgin Convention and Visitors Bureau. He said one issue that drew him into the race for a 2-year seat was the decision to add several new taxes this year.

"Instead of just getting angry about things like that, let's see how I can get involved," Dusenberry said.

Larry Wegman, a former Gail Borden Public Library board trustee, and Chindavanh Keomuongchanh, a board member of the Lao American Organization of Elgin, filed for the 2-year seat with Craig Dresang, Roy Chapman III and Daniel Schultz. Thomas McCarthy and Michael DeBrocke filed their petitions on the first day they could -- Nov. 19.

Thomas Armstrong, a retired Elgin city planner and member of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, will run for the 4-year seat. As will Cody Holt, Jerri McCue, Grace Richard, Anthony Nance and Carol Rauschenberger, an Elgin Township trustee. Mitchell Esterino, Terry Gavin and Rosemarie Kahn were among the earliest filers last Monday.

Stephen Knight and Toby Shaw filed petitions for both the 2- and 4-year seats. Election law says both men must choose just one race by next week.

Knight, a retiree, serves on the board of the Elgin Public Museum and wants to be more involved in the community. One of his main issues is to separate the sewage and stormwater systems sooner rather than later to stop flooding on the far southeast side.

"Those people need help and they don't need it in the next 50 years. They need it tomorrow," Knight said.

Toby Shaw, who works in IT, ran unsuccessfully in the last city council election in 2011.

Elgin's 2010 Census count requires expansion of the city council by two members. To keep the election cycle even, one member will serve two years and one will serve four.

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