Endorsements for candidates in all districts for DuPage County Board

This endorsement is a consensus opinion of the Daily Herald Editorial Board.

Dist. 1: Cronin Cahill, Puchalski, Tornatore

Voters in DuPage County have choices featuring one Democrat and three Republicans to fill three seats in District 1 of the county board. Michael Childress is the lone Democrat on the Nov. 8 ballot, along with Republicans Cindy Cronin Cahill, Donald Puchalski and Sam Tornatore.

Incumbent Tornatore, an attorney and Roselle resident, has represented District 1 for 10 years. He currently leads the Development Committee and is vice chairman of the Public Transit Committee. As a member of the Illinois Housing Development Authority Board, Tornatore has been a part of the effort to offer affordable housing in Du­Page County, while focusing on economic growth and keeping an eye on the county budget. As a former trustee for Bloomingdale Township and for the village of Roselle, he has the experience to serve the residents of DuPage County.

Puchalski, an incumbent who was first appointed to the county board in 2005, serves as chairman of the Transportation Committee. An attorney from Addison, Puchalski's campaign is focused on public safety and working to reduce crime in DuPage County, resulting in safer neighborhoods. He has stressed the importance of working with a balanced budget and reducing government spending. Puchalski has previously served as a school board member and an Addison Township trustee.

Tornatore and Puchalski have worked with other members of the board to get things done in DuPage County. They both deserve to continue that work.

Democrat and Bloomingdale resident Childress works as a custom service manager and previously served as Bloomingdale Park District Commissioner and president of the DuPage County NAACP. His campaign is focused on bringing more manufacturing jobs into the county and ways to improve the quality of life for county residents without raising taxes.

Elmhurst resident Cronin Cahill, a certified public accountant, previously was elected as Elmhurst city treasurer and was appointed to the Illinois Liquor Commission. She has operated a business in DuPage County for 30 years. Cronin Cahill's campaign is focused on keeping a balanced budget during a changing economic environment while keeping taxes down to help out working families.

DuPage County District 1 residents would benefit by electing Childress or Cronin Cahill. While facing inflation and increased government spending, Cronin Cahill's financial experience would be an advantage.

We endorse Tornatore, Puchalski and Cronin Cahill for DuPage County Board District 1.

Dist. 2: Chaplin, Deacon Garcia, Yoo

DuPage County voters in District 2 are looking at Democrats Liz Chaplin, Paula Deacon Garcia and Yeena Yoo, along with Republicans Daniel Kordik, Sean Noonan and Nichole Giannini on the Nov. 8 ballot to fill three seats on the county board.

Incumbent Chaplin, a 10-year county board member and Downers Grove resident, previously served as DuPage Water Commissioner. As a board member, she has stressed the importance of clean water in the county and getting residents access to Lake Michigan water. Chaplin chairs the Finance Committee and has experience working with other board members to get things done. She should be allowed to continue on the board.

Lisle resident Deacon Garcia, the other incumbent in District 2, co-chairs the Intergovernmental Committee and is vice chairwoman on the Development Committee. She is focused on finding a way to create more affordable housing in DuPage County as available open space is shrinking. She has worked toward finding affordable housing to keep young parents and business professionals in the county. She deserves to be reelected.

The four District 2 challengers could each be a benefit to the county board.

Oak Brook resident Kordik, a lawyer and small business owner, has previously served as a school board member, York Township Clerk and Chairman of the York Township Republicans. He has stressed to importance of the board being fiscally responsible with funds as residents face rising inflation.

Noonan, an Elmhurst resident, works as a patrol sergeant for the Village of Bloomingdale and previously served on the county board from 2012-2020. Noonan is focused on public safety. He has said there is a new, more intense criminal element in DuPage County and law enforcement has to get stricter while collaborating with other counties.

Giannini, a real estate and property manager assistant from Villa Park, is also concerned with public safety. She has said the county needs to manage the budget to ensure that law enforcement is properly funded.

Kordik, Noonan and Giannini would each bring unique perspectives to the board, but District 2 residents would mostly benefit by electing Yoo.

Elmhurst resident Yoo, a legal aid attorney, has said dealing with mental health issues should be a priority for DuPage County, as it affects gun violence and rising opioid deaths. Her work has put her in touch with people dealing with these issues and she has experience getting them through it. She has stressed the idea that the county can work on these matters at a local level.

We endorse Chaplin, Deacon Garcia and Yoo for DuPage County Board District 2.

Dist. 3: Chang Evans, Spann and Krajewski

The Nov. 8 election in Du­Page County Board District 3 will see Democrats Lucy Chang Evans, Amanda Roudebush and Rosemary Spann, along with Republicans Brian Krajewski, Greg Abbott and Kari Galassi on the ballot, vying for three seats. Krajewski is the lone incumbent.

Voters will be choosing from a field of six quality candidates, each of whom would be an asset to the county board. The candidates all agree that financially, the county must be cautious following the expectation of a surplus in the budget. There is also agreement the county could benefit from more bipartisan cooperation.

Woodridge resident Abbott is an attorney who has been a village trustee in Woodridge since 2011. He is focused on keeping county spending down as rising inflation threatens to hurt the residents of DuPage County. With an effort to not raise taxes, he has said the county needs to financially support law enforcement to fight rising crime.

Hinsdale resident Galassi, who works as a certified public accountant, is a board member on the Hins­dale Hospital Foundation. As a CPA, she has said she would look at efficiency in spending and make sure the budget is balanced. Her campaign is focused on reducing crime in DuPage County.

Hinsdale resident Roudebush is an educator and she owns a bilingual consulting firm. She has said the county should consider an increase in spending on housing assistance and food pantries to help out residents.

Naperville resident Chang Evans, a civil engineer, has said the county needs to consolidate resources to save money as inflation rises. She stressed the need for improved infrastructure and said the county should take advantage of funds that could be available from the infrastructure bill passed by Congress. With threats of flooding and aging roads needing repair, she has the background to focus on the county's infrastructure. She should be elected to the county board.

Spann, a Naperville resident and small business owner, previously served on the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. She has said a budget surplus could be used to fund improved mental health services in the county. She has a corporate background and has worked with budgets and planning for more than 30 years. Her varied experience can be applied to dealing with infrastructure and spending in the county. She should be elected.

Krajewski, of Downers Grove, is a lifelong resident of DuPage County and works as an attorney and CPA. He has been a county board member since 2010 and currently chairs the Animal Services Committee. He was the mayor of Downers Grove from 1999-2007. He has sponsored programs that have received bipartisan cooperation during his time on the board. He has worked to improve the items going to local food pantries. He deserves to continue that effort.

We endorse Chang Evans, Spann and Krajewski for DuPage County Board District 3.

Dist. 4: Eckhoff, Fitzgerald Ozog and LaPlante

Voters in DuPage County District 4 will see some familiar names vying for county board seats on Nov. 8. Incumbents Grant Eckhoff, a Republican, and Democrats Lynn LaPlante and Mary Fitzgerald Ozog are running for reelection. Joining them on the ballot are Republicans Annette Corrigan and Reid Foltyniewicz, and Democrat Shawn Ryan.

Ryan, a retired Glen Ellyn resident, has said the county should offer better services for seniors and those with disabilities. He had not held any previous offices.

Wheaton resident Corrigan works as a family law attorney and serves as a Republican Organization precinct committeeperson and a trustee for the College of DuPage. Her campaign is focused on public safety.

Lombard resident Foltyniewicz, a deputy chief with the Oak Brook Police Department, has previously served as a Village of Lombard trustee. He has said his priority is keeping the county safe by ensuring local law enforcement has the training and resources it needs.

LaPlante is a Glen Ellyn resident who works as a musician. During her first term on the board, she created the Fine Arts Committee, which she chairs, and she has an eye on bringing a fine arts center to DuPage County. She also chairs the Community Development Commission and was part of establishing the first permanent homeless shelter in the county. LaPlante is focused on public health issues and has expressed the need for an insulin bank in the county to help out people with diabetes.

Longtime DuPage County Board member Eckhoff, an attorney and Wheaton resident, sits on a number of committees, including the Finance Committee and the Economic Development Committee. During his 20 years on the board, Eckhoff has worked to save the county money while focusing on keeping taxes low. He was actively involved in establishing fiscal policies that put the county in a position to get through the COVID-19 pandemic. Looking forward, he has said the board needs to support law enforcement as public safety and crime prevention continue to be an issue.

Fitzgerald Ozog, a Glen Ellyn resident, has served on the county board for four years, following a stint on the Glenbard High School District 87 board. She chairs the Public Works Committee and the Public Transit Committee, and is vice chair on the Transportation Committee. Fitzgerald Ozog was involved in helping manage the initial county funding issues during the beginning of the pandemic and she is focused on the recovery, especially concerning public transportation.

The challengers are all strong candidates, but the incumbents have experience with current issues in the county and each has completed a successful term. They deserve to continue their work.

We endorse LaPlante, Eckhoff and Fitzgerald Ozog for DuPage County Board District 4.

Dist. 5: Covert, DeSart and Haider

DuPage County District 5 voters will be choosing from four candidates to fill three seats on the county board. Patty Gustin, the lone Republican, joins Democrats Saba Haider, Sadia Covert and Dawn DeSart on the ballot. Covert and DeSart are incumbents.

Naperville resident Gustin is a realt estate professional and member of the Naperville City Council. Her campaign is focused on balancing the budget and keeping taxes affordable.

Haider is an Aurora resident and small business owner. With a surplus in the budget, she has said the county needs to use it for development and sustainability, helping out local businesses and health services that were hit by the pandemic. Looking forward, she has a plan for a cyber safety sub committee which would aid in securing the county's records and the personal information of city workers. She deserves a chance to pursue these plans.

Covert, an attorney from Naperville, was first elected to the county board in 2018. She sits on nine committees and chairs or co-chairs three of them. During her term, Covert has been focused on programs to help out women, veterans and those with disabilities. She has worked well with the other members of the board, from both parties and should have a chance to continue her work.

Aurora resident and journalist DeSart is finishing her first term on the county board. She sits on 10 committees and chairs the Legislative Committee and is vice chair on the Animal Services Committee. DeSart has said her top issue is affordable housing for residents of DuPage County and has worked toward a committee focused on that issue. She is concerned with keeping the county's neighborhoods safe and deserves another term.

We endorse Haider, Covert and DeSart for DuPage County Board District 5.

Dist. 6: Rutledge, Schwarze and Zay

Three Republicans and three Democrats are vying for the three DuPage County Board District 6 seats in the Nov. 8 election. Republicans Robert Larsen, Christine Winger and incumbent James Zay join Democrats Jaime Ricklefs and incumbents Sheila Rutledge and Greg Schwarze on the ballot.

Warrenville resident Ricklefs works as a supply chain manager. Her campaign is focused on affordable housing and exploring programs and partnerships within the county to take advantage of resources already available.

Larsen, an attorney from Wheaton, served on the county board from 2010 to 2020. He also had a stint on the DuPage County Board of Health and served as a Milton Township trustee. He has said the county needs to plan for future economic issues. Larsen is concerned with keeping an eye on development in District 6 to preserve the open space.

Winger, a substitute teacher and Bartlett resident, previously served as an alderman in the City of Wood Dale and as a state representative in District 45. She has said taxes and government spending are too high and she hopes to reduce county taxes.

Carol Stream resident Zay, a corporate vice president, has been a county board member since 1999. He is also DuPage Water Commission Chairman and served as DuPage County Forest Preserve Commissioner and a Wayne Township trustee. He chairs the Redistricting and Stormwater committees. In that role he has overseen more than $50 million spent on projects throughout the county and is looking at combating future flooding issues.

Rutledge, a photographer from West Chicago, is finishing her first term on the county board. She chairs the Environmental Committee and is active in nine others. She is working to update county technology to keep up with a changing environment. Rutledge is vice chair of the Fine Arts Committee and she has suggested the county look into the development of an outdoor entertainment venue.

Carol Stream resident Schwarze is a retired firefighter and paramedic who was first elected to the county board in 2020. He previously served as a Carol Stream Village trustee. During his term, Schwarze has worked toward greater public safety and was instrumental in getting updated equipment for law enforcement.

The challengers bring a lot of experience to the campaign, but the incumbents have all worked together and have the experience, with other members, to best serve District 6.

We endorse Zay, Rutledge and Schwarze for DuPage County Board District 6.

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