Kane County Board incumbent Kenyon to face challenger Stare in Republican primary election

A stark contrast in views among Kane County Republicans could not be more apparent than in the March 19 primary contest between Kane County Board District 16 incumbent Michael Kenyon of South Elgin and his opponent Eric Stare.

Kenyon is a dairy farmer who has served on the board for 18 years.

Stare is an Elgin Township trustee who drives for Republic Services, a waste collection company. Stare also served as a Marine at Camp Lejeune and in Okinawa.

The winner of the GOP primary will face Democrat Ted Penesis in November in a race that will decide who represents District 16 on the county board.

The primary candidate’s differences closely match the split in the GOP nationally.

Stare is committed to Donald Trump. The former president’s photo is on his Facebook page.

“I absolutely think Trump won the 2020 election,” Stare said. “I’m a pro-Trump supporter, and I agree with his policies, especially with what’s going on at the border.”

Kenyon accepts that Biden won in 2020.

“Joe Biden was the certified elected president,” Kenyon said. “Joe Biden won.”

Regarding the persistent claim among some in the GOP that Trump won in 2020, Kenyon said, “At least four lawyers have lost their licenses by getting on that wagon train with Trump. [Rudy] Giuliani … was looked upon as a leader years ago. Now he’s just an idiot.”

Stare says he wants to return to hand-counting paper ballots.

“Election integrity and government transparency,” Stare said. “I’ve seen plenty to raise some red flags.

“I don’t believe in these machines,” he said.

Kenyon disagreed. He said a return to hand-counted paper ballots would be too expensive and take too long.

“We already have a paper ballot. That machine kicks out a paper ballot, also an electronic one,” Kenyon said. “If those people don’t trust a machine, who are they going to trust? A person? That’s what I want to know. Besides, there are too many things to decide on our ballots. It’s not just a yes or a no.”

As to why he would go after an incumbent in his own party in a primary, Stare said it’s time for Kenyon to go.

“Mike is part of the same old tired Republican establishment club,” Stare said.

“I just totally disagree with the way they are handling things at the county,” he added.

Stare would not say what he disagrees with regarding Kenyon’s decisions on the county board.

“I wouldn’t say you could classify me bipartisan on a lot of issues,” Stare said. “I’ll always listen and always pray about my decision before I make one, too.”

Kenyon said he works with Democrats on bipartisan issues for the good of the county. He says he gets along with them, and some are friends.

“I’m a moderate whose votes are well thought out on issues,” Kenyon said. “I support employers, and I support unions. … I have voted to preserve farmland.”

Farmland preservation is how Kenyon got started on the county board. He served on the Farmland Protection Commission.

“I was appointed to that [commission] before I was elected to the board as a farmer,” Kenyon said.

He is the only farmer on the county board.

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