Two Republican incumbents running as a team are seeking their party's nomination against a single challenger in the race for two District 11 seats on the Will County Board.
Incumbents Charles "Chuck" Maher and Suzanne Hart and newcomer Michael "Big Mike" Strick are running in the March 18 primary to earn a spot on the November ballot representing District 11, which primarily covers south Naperville. No one has filed in the Democratic primary.
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All three GOP candidates live in Naperville and all say they approach the position, which includes oversight of Will County and the Will County Forest Preserve District, as fiscal conservatives.
Maher, a 56-year-old business owner and educational consultant, has the longest tenure on the board at 12 years. He said he will bring proven leadership as he works to hold the line on expenses and cut duplicated services.
He said he led a capital improvements committee that created a mission and vision statement for the county and started a capital assessment process for all county facilities.
"People have to do more with less," Maher said. "We know that we can do a better job of going to our elected officials and saying 'you need to do some more cutting back.'"
On a 26-person board with a Democratic majority, Maher said he is willing and able to work with officeholders like the auditor, county clerk, sheriff and state's attorney to streamline expenditures and run the county as efficiently as possible.
Hart, a 48-year-old community volunteer, has been on the board for three years. She said she is always willing to listen to constituents and will work the hardest of all candidates to promote maintenance and development of trails and roads and to bring new businesses -- especially corporations -- to Will County.
"What we do with what we have is amazing," Hart said about the county's management of tax dollars. "One of my favorite things to say is to be in Naperville in Will County is a good place to be because (your taxes) are being watched."
Strick, 51, owns small businesses in the auto service and car wash industry in Naperville and Wheaton. He is running on a platform of term limits for county elected officials and reduced government spending. He says he would only serve for two terms if elected and would not accept a pension.
"I want to try to relieve the tax burdens on constituents in the area and reduce government for sure and really start controlling the costs," Strick said. "I believe in reducing government to the point of making it hurt."
Two of the three candidates in the March 18 primary will win the Republican nomination to run in the November general election. Two people will be chosen in November to represent District 11 on the full county board.
While there is not yet a Democrat in the race, Will County Clerk Nancy Schultz Voots said the Democratic Party has until June 2 to nominate a candidate. If that candidate successfully gathers enough signatures, he or she will appear on the November ballot.