The McHenry County Board GOP District 5 primary finds three Woodstock men vying for the party's two nominations -- an incumbent looking to cut spending, a challenger with acknowledged political baggage, and a third looking to lower taxes.
John Jung Jr., 65, the board's current vice chairman and a small-business owner, squares off against Zane Seipler, 40, a Columbia College student who previously ran against outgoing county Sheriff Keith Nygren in 2010, and political newcomer Michael Rein, 49, a chiropractor.
Jung, a longtime board member for 18 years, says he's running to continue the financial progress he said he helped make. The county fixed its finances while he was on the board, he said, and boasts a AAA bond rating, a property tax levy it kept flat for two years, a leaner staff and a reduced budget. Jung wants to look at other ways to cut costs.
"A lot of the stuff that we did changed the culture of the county," Jung said. "I'd like to see that continue because sometimes it seems ... people forget what you went through to bring these changes in and, little by little, they start to backslide a little bit."
Seipler, a former deputy in the McHenry County sheriff's office, says he's running as an outsider and that his main goal is to end the political cronyism and nepotism he insists runs rampant in the county.
Seipler acknowledges he comes with some baggage.
Earlier this year, Seipler was ordered by a judge to pay $240,500 of Nygren's legal bills for lying under oath in his lawsuit against Nygren.
In the lawsuit, Seipler claimed Nygren fired him in 2013 for reporting racial profiling and other civil rights violations in the department. Nygren fired him the first time in 2008.
Seipler admits he made some mistakes in the past and says he plans top appeal the civil case. Seipler says residents should trust him to be a voice for the people.
"You can't fight the government in a courtroom, so the best way to do it, if you see problems with the government ... it's to get yourself elected so that you have a say," Seipler said.
Rein said he's mostly running to lower taxes in the county.
One way of doing that is seeing whether expenses can be cut in health care plans for county employees, he said.
"Millions and millions of dollars are spent on health care every year for government and businesses and keeping those fair so to speak, that's what I'm looking for," Rein said.
The two men left standing after the Republican primary will square off against Democrat Paula Yensen, an incumbent on the McHenry County Board.