Next year's municipal elections may not be until April 9, but Palatine Mayor Jim Schwantz likely has a second term in office already wrapped up.
No one submitted nominating petitions to oppose the popular mayor by the end of the filing period, which came to a close at 5 p.m. Monday for the three Northwest suburbs with potential primaries.
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"I hope this means people are very satisfied with the job we're doing," said Schwantz, who collected 1,300 signatures with the help of 20 volunteers. "I set out to make things run smoother, and hopefully this is a referendum on the fact that's happening."
Write-in candidates, who rarely win, can declare their intent to run no later than 61 days prior to the election.
Schwantz's situation isn't unique, as neither Palatine nor Schaumburg will feature a single contested race.
That's not the case in Hoffman Estates, however, where multiple candidates have filed to run for each office.
Hoffman Estates Mayor Bill McLeod faces a challenge from Trustee Ray Kincaid. Five candidates are vying for three trustee seats available including incumbents Karen Mills and Jackie Green and newcomers Mike Gaeta, Gayle Vandenbergh and Craig Bernacki.
Bernacki, the only candidate to file Monday, ran unsuccessfully for trustee in spring 2011 and later resigned from his position as park district commissioner to care for his parents.
Village Clerk Bev Romanoff will square off against challenger Heather Mahoney, as well.
The field of candidates isn't large enough to require a primary, so all three villages will hold only general elections April 9 along with every other municipality.
In Palatine, joining Schwantz was the village council's most veteran official, District 4 Councilman Greg Solberg, who'll seek a seventh term.
District 6 Councilman Brad Helms and Tim Millar, current Palatine Township Elementary District 15 board president, also filed. Unless a write-in candidate comes forward, Millar will succeed District 1 Councilman Aaron Del Mar, who isn't seeking a second term.
Palatine Village Clerk Margaret "Marg" Duer, who's held the post since 1989, also filed.
As is the case in Palatine, Schaumburg won't have a contested race. Only the three incumbent trustees whose terms will expire next May -- Marge Connelly, Frank Kozak and Jack Sullivan -- filed. Neither the mayor's nor the clerk's office is up for election this cycle.
Since multiple candidates were at the Hoffman Estates clerk's office when the filing period opened Nov. 19, a lottery will take place at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4, to determine ballot order.
For all other municipalities and taxing bodies with an April 9 election, the candidate filing period will run from Monday, Dec. 17, through Christmas Eve.