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posted: 3/16/2014 8:00 AM

GOP sheriff, clerk races top Kane primary election lineup

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  • Don Kramer is a candidate for Kane County sheriff.

      Don Kramer is a candidate for Kane County sheriff.

  • Kevin Williams is a candidate for Kane County sheriff.

      Kevin Williams is a candidate for Kane County sheriff.

  • Jack Cunningham, left, and Mark Davoust are Republican candidates in the race for Kane County clerk.

      Jack Cunningham, left, and Mark Davoust are Republican candidates in the race for Kane County clerk.

 
 

A new sheriff is coming to Kane County, and the process for electing him begins Tuesday.

Don Kramer and Kevin Williams will square off for the Republican nomination for the 4-year term.

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The two men are no strangers to law enforcement, with more than five decades of combined experience between them.

Both Williams and Kramer lost races in 2006 and 2010, respectively, to Sheriff Pat Perez, who is not seeking a third term.

Currently a Kane County sheriff's lieutenant, Williams says he has the most support from rank-and-file sheriff's deputies and civilians.

Kramer, who retired from the sheriff's office in 2009 as a lieutenant, says his time away from law enforcement helped him get a better grasp on challenges facing the department and the county.

He would change to command structure and work to highlight after-school programs to combat heroin use.

The winner will advance to the Nov. 4 general election against Democrat Willie Mayes, a sergeant in the sheriff's department.

The GOP race for sheriff tops a slate of contested races that will be decided on Tuesday.

Kane County clerk

Jack Cunningham of Aurora is seeking the Republican nomination and his fourth 4-year term as clerk. First elected in 2002, Cunningham has touted his office's transition to electronic voting and successful early voting program.

Mark Davoust, a St. Charles Republican and Kane County Board member since 2004, also is seeking the nomination. Davoust says the clerk's post is an extension of his passion for public service and he would make increasing voter turnout a top priority for the clerk's office if elected.

No Democrat has filed to run for the seat.

65th House

Genevans Dan Ugaste and Steve Andersson and Elgin resident Debbie Miller are seeking the Republican nomination for the state 65th House District. Incumbent Tim Schmitz is not running. Nobody filed for the Democratic nomination.

Ugaste and Andersson are lawyers, while Miller owns a life-counseling business.

All agree the temporary state income tax increase should not be extended. To address the money that would be lost, Miller said the best thing to do would be to encourage more businesses to open or stay in Illinois, by reducing fees and regulations. Ugaste cited Medicaid fraud as one place to examine, suggested changing the school funding formula so less money is sent to Chicago schools, and said that recipients of public benefits should be subject to suspicion-based drug testing. Andersson wants a forensic audit of state finances, with experts reviewing how well money is being spent. While spending cuts would be needed, he would set education as the top priority for receiving funding.

The district includes all or parts of Geneva, St. Charles, Campton Hills, Plato Center, South Elgin, Elgin, Pingree Grove, Hampshire and Huntley.

50th House

Keith Wheeler and Julie Cosimo of Oswego, Bill Keck of Sugar Grove and Beth Goncher of Aurora seek the Republican nomination for the state 50th House District. Incumbent Kay Hatcher is not seeking re-election.

Goncher is the legislative and constituent services director for Schmitz. Cosimo is director of career development at Benedictine University.

Keck was the Kane County auditor and is retired. Wheeler owns a computer consulting business.

All favored ending the income tax increase. Addressing the lost revenue, Cosimo and Wheeler suggested examining Medicaid eligibility for fraud. Keck said he would use reports from the state's auditor general to guide him in voting on bills, and Goncher said that while there is some "low-hanging fruit" that could be cut from the budget, a 3 percent to 5 percent cut wouldn't be possible and that she at least wants the budget to stop increasing.

The district includes all or parts of Campton Hills, Elburn, Sugar Grove, Montgomery, Aurora, Batavia, Geneva, Bristol, Oswego, Yorkville and North Aurora.

Kane County Board

All 12 odd-numbered seats are up for re-election this year, but few districts will see contested primaries.

In Aurora-based District 3, incumbent Jennifer Laesch faces fellow Democrat Donald Ishmael.

In District 5, two Sugar Grove Republicans -- challenger Bill Lenert and incumbent Melisa Taylor -- square off.

Incumbent Mike Donahue is not seeking re-election in Geneva-based District 11. Republicans John Martin and Thomas Matson are vying for the spot. Martin is Donahue's hand-picked successor.

In all three races there is no challenger for the general election.

16th Circuit judges

James C. Hallock, a Kane County associate judge since 1992, is seeking the GOP nod to run for the 6-year circuit judge seat that was vacated when Judge Timothy Sheldon retired in late 2012. Hallock has emphasized his experience in overseeing criminal and civil cases.

Aurora attorney David Howard also is running for the judge's seat. An attorney since 1990, he was a part-time prosecutor for the city of Aurora and also handles bankruptcy cases.

A second judge's seat also is up for election, this one being vacated by Circuit Judge Karen Simpson in October.

Geneva defense attorney D.J. Tegeler, who also is president of the Mill Creek Water Reclamation District, is running for the Republican nomination.

Marmarie Kostelny of Elgin, who has been an associate judge since 2006 and currently oversees the Kane County drug court, also is running.

Associate judges are appointed, while circuit judges are elected.

• Daily Herald staff writers James Fuller and Susan Sarkauskas contributed to this report.

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