Endorsement: Russell for Kane County coroner

The race for Kane County coroner finds a rematch between Republican Rob Russell, who is the current coroner and a former DuPage County sheriff's officer, and Tao Martinez, who is president and founder of a company that cleans up death scenes.

And both candidates have updated their resumes considerably in the intervening four years. Russell, of course, now has four years as coroner under his belt. Martinez, of North Aurora, has acquired new certifications in death-related analysis and direct experience as a deputy coroner in Kendall County.

As in 2012, we still favor Russell, of South Elgin. His tenure in the office occasionally has been turbulent, featuring a very public budgeting feud with county board Chairman Chris Lauzen and ongoing tensions over spending with the county board. But for the most part, these conflicts have been more political than substantive. It's more relevant to note that he has transformed an office that had been crippled by mismanagement and corruption into an operation that is fiscally sound, earned national accreditation and re-established high professional standards.

Martinez is sincere and clearly committed to the duties of the coroner's office. His background is solid, but it's just no match for Russell's record of success under trying conditions. We recommend the incumbent.

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