Kane sheriff hopefuls explain why each deserves your vote

With early voting under way, the two men running to be the next Kane County sheriff are stating their cases for why they should succeed Pat Perez. Don Kramer, a Geneva Republican, hopes to follow in his father's footsteps as sheriff. Willie Mayes Sr., an Aurora Democrat, cites his law enforcement experience and community involvement.

Perez is not seeking a third, four-year term and will step down in December.

Kramer, 56, retired from the Kane County sheriff's department in 2009 to run against Perez for sheriff but lost.

Kramer's father, George, served as Kane County sheriff from 1978 to 1986, and Kramer points to his service to past sheriffs as experience that will aid him if elected.

“I think I have all the credentials. I have 30 years of experience and if you look at the things I've done throughout my career, sheriffs have depended on me,” said Kramer.

Among his accomplishments are the Department Leadership Award under former Sheriff Ken Ramsey in 1998 and in 2008 under Perez. He also was named Rotarian of the Year by the Geneva Rotary Club in 2003, and earned the group's Community Service Award in 2004.

“I'm invested in my community,” Kramer said. “I work hard and I succeed at what I'm doing.”

Mayes, 52, is a deputy sheriff/lieutenant with the Kane County sheriff's department and a former guard for the Illinois Department of Corrections.

He points to his 20-plus years of law enforcement experience as one reason why voters should choose him.

Mayes also has outlined a 100-day plan on his website so community members can track his progress and hold him accountable.

“I'm a man of faith. I believe in family, I believe in community,” said Mayes, who has been a volunteer coach in sports.

He also cited his work ethic and says his current employment has helped him solidify law enforcement relationships locally and at the state level.

“I have leadership skills. I have experience and I stand for integrity,” Mayes said. “I believe in effective, efficient, transparent and responsible policing.”

The election is Nov. 4 and early voting runs through Nov. 2.

For a list of polling places, visit or call (630) 232-5990.

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