Contested races expected in Kane, McHenry counties after first day of filing

Kane County will see its most competitive election season in recent history, given the number of candidates who lined up for the first day of filing Monday.

All of the odd-numbered seats are up for re-election on the 24-seat county board. All but one incumbent will have a challenger.

One of the more intriguing races includes a challenge to longtime incumbent Barb Wojnicki. She will see challenges from within her own party, from Republican Robert Koonce, and if she survives the March 20 primary, Democrat Gerald Palmer awaits her.

Likewise, county board veteran Phil Lewis will see a challenge from fellow Republican Steve Weber.

Both Wojnicki and Lewis have drawn negative attention from Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen, who is also a Republican, during the past couple of years.

Closer to the top of the ballot, Kane County Clerk Jack Cunningham will have a race in the GOP primary against former clerk's office employee Stan Bond. And Sheriff Don Kramer will see at least one fellow GOP challenge from Kevin Tindall. Ron Hain also filed papers to run for sheriff on the Democratic side. More challengers are expected to make their bids for sheriff before the end of the filing period, Monday, Dec. 4.

McHenry County

Securing the McHenry County clerk title is the next step in Recorder Joe Tirio's plan to eventually consolidate the two offices. But he'll have to overcome a new challenge in March when he battles at least one other candidate for the GOP nomination.

Tirio, who announced his candidacy this summer, filed his nominating papers for the clerk position Monday, as did McHenry resident Janice Dalton, the city's former clerk for 16 years.

They will face off in the Republican primary in hopes of replacing one-term incumbent Mary McClellan, who is not seeking re-election.

Tirio, of Woodstock, was elected recorder last year after campaigning on a promise to abolish the position and merge its functions with the clerk's office. That consolidation must be completed by Dec. 1, 2020, if voters say yes to a binding referendum question that will also appear on the March ballot.

The county clerk serves as the chief election authority and also maintains vital records, public filings and tax services. Under Tirio's proposal, the clerk's office would absorb the recorder's office's responsibilities, and both staffs would operate under a single elected leader.

Other countywide offices up for election in 2018 include sheriff and treasurer. Only the incumbents - Bill Prim for sheriff and Glenda Miller for treasurer - have filed to run so far.

Additionally, half the 24-member county board - two seats from each of the six districts - is up for election. The first day of filing confirmed contested GOP primary races in Districts 5 and 6. Districts 1, 2 and 6 each have one Democrat seeking a seat on the primarily Republican board.

Strong early filing for Illinois attorney general, Congress

Kane County Sheriff Don Kramer will see at least one GOP challenger in the March primary.
McHenry County Recorder Joe Tirio will face at least one opponent in the Republican primary race for county clerk.
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