Lake County mayoral candidates file to be on the ballot
The first day of candidate filing for the April 2013 consolidated election revealed impending mayoral showdowns in several Lake County communities.
Voters in Mundelein, Round Lake, Antioch, Fox Lake, Lake Zurich and Lakemoor are among those who will have to choose between multiple mayoral hopefuls when they enter polling places next spring.
Monday was the first day of filing for the consolidated local election, which will be held April 9.
Seats on all municipal, school, library, park district and township boards will be up for election, as well as mayors in most suburbs.
A handful of candidates waited patiently outside Mundelein's village hall for the building to open at 8 a.m. Monday. They included longtime park district board member and former police chief Wally Frasier, who's making a run at the mayor's office.
"I've been thinking about this for a long time," said Frasier, 65, who's been a parks trustee, on and off, since the 1980s. "Mundelein can use some fresh blood on the village board."
Frasier, who also served as police chief in Lakemoor and Hainesville, is running independently for the post.
He's set to face Steve Lentz, a first-term trustee who announced plans to run for mayor earlier this year.
Lentz is part of a slate that submitted its paperwork Monday, too.
Mayor Kenneth H. Kessler has said he won't seek a third term.
In Island Lake, a slate led by Mayor Debbie Herrmann filed for the ballot. Herrmann will seek re-election to a second term.
She'll run with incumbent Clerk Connie Mascillino and trustee candidates Josh Rhode, Ken Nitz and Ed McGinty.
Rhode, Nitz and McGinty all are political newcomers. Three incumbent trustees — Steve Stiller, Sam Cicero and Laurie Rabattini — are not running.
A slate of challengers led by former Mayor Charles Amrich is expected to run, too, but its members have not filed paperwork. Mark Beeson, who's announced he will run for trustee as part of Amrich's slate, said his team should submit the necessary petitions Wednesday.
Herrmann's first term has been marked by turmoil. For two years, trustees fought openly at board meetings and battled over the mayor's powers, resulting in a costly lawsuit.
Things settled down somewhat after the 2011 midterm election brought personnel changes to the board, but Herrmann's critics haven't gone away. Lately, they've rallied against a still-developing proposal for a new village hall and police station.
When asked about Amrich's expected bid for her job, Herrmann said she hopes the campaign doesn't become personal.
"What it's about is who can manage your village more effectively," she said.
In Lake Zurich, incumbent Mayor Suzanne Branding is being challenged by Trustee Thomas Poynton for the top job.
Fox Lake Mayor Ed Bender will be challenged for that job by Trustee Donald "Donnie" Schmit.
In Round Lake, incumbent Mayor James R. Dietz and challenger Daniel A. MacGillis filed Monday, both as part of full slates.
Antioch Mayor Larry Hanson and challenger Mary Gaborek filed petitions Monday, too.
In Lakemoor, Mayor Todd Weihofen and challenger Tina Asmus submitted petitions for that job.
Asmus gained attention a few years ago when she was fined by the village for using two old toilets and a bathroom sink as front-yard planters. Police said the bathroom fixtures violated the village's public nuisance ordinance, but the case and a $25 fine were tossed in December 2010 by a judge who said the ordinance was being misapplied.
Asmus said the legal drama inspired her to pay attention to local politics.
"And the more I paid attention, the more I didn't like what I saw," she said. "I think I've got some really good ideas for Lakemoor, and I think I can make them happen."
There was an interesting twist in Lake Villa as former Mayor Joyce Frayer filed petitions for that job and for trustee.
Frayer's local political career includes 12 years as mayor and 14 years as a trustee. She last ran, unsuccessfully, in 2007.
"All the years I gave, I don't want to give up yet," she said.
Incumbent Mayor Frank Loffredo, who has served as mayor since 1993, also filed Monday as part of a slate.
Frayer said she put in papers for both posts because she hadn't heard if Loffredo was running again. She has until Jan. 3 to withdraw from one of the races.
Several incumbent mayors who filed for re-election Monday don't yet have opponents. They include Joe Mancino in Hawthorn Woods, Terry Weppler in Libertyville, Rich Hill in Round Lake Beach, Mark Knigge in Wauconda and Kristina Kovarik in Gurnee.
The filing period ends Dec. 26.
Daily Herald staff writers Lee Filas, Bob Susnjara, Mick Zawislak, Paul Valade and Pete Nenni contributed to this report.
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