Hot races in the Fox Valley

  • Donald Kramer, left, and Willie Mayes Sr. square off Tuesday to be the next Kane County sheriff.

    Donald Kramer, left, and Willie Mayes Sr. square off Tuesday to be the next Kane County sheriff.

  • Dennis Anderson, left, will try to unseat Randy Hultgren in the 14th Congressional District.

    Dennis Anderson, left, will try to unseat Randy Hultgren in the 14th Congressional District.

  • Jeffrey Meyer and Anna Moeller compete for the state's 43rd House District seat.

    Jeffrey Meyer and Anna Moeller compete for the state's 43rd House District seat.

  • Maggie Auger opposes Kevin Smith for the Kane County Board District 23 seat.

    Maggie Auger opposes Kevin Smith for the Kane County Board District 23 seat.

  • Jim Harrison, left, and Bill Prim are candidates to be the next McHenry County sheriff.

    Jim Harrison, left, and Bill Prim are candidates to be the next McHenry County sheriff.

  • Nick Chirikos, from left, Andrew Gasser and Robert Nowak are vying for two seats in McHenry County Board District 1.

    Nick Chirikos, from left, Andrew Gasser and Robert Nowak are vying for two seats in McHenry County Board District 1.

  • Kathleen Bergan Schmidt and Joseph Gottemoller are candidates for McHenry County Board District 3. Not pictured is candidate Donald Kopsell.

    Kathleen Bergan Schmidt and Joseph Gottemoller are candidates for McHenry County Board District 3. Not pictured is candidate Donald Kopsell.

  • John Jung, from left, Michael Rein and Paula Yensen are candidates in the McHenry Board District 5 race.

    John Jung, from left, Michael Rein and Paula Yensen are candidates in the McHenry Board District 5 race.

 
 
Posted11/3/2014 5:30 AM

Voters will elect a new Kane County sheriff on Tuesday, choosing a replacement for Pat Perez, who is not seeking a third term.

The candidates in one of the county's hottest races have five decades of law enforcement experience between them.

 

Republican Donald Kramer of Geneva retired from the sheriff's department in 2009 as a lieutenant and hopes to follow in the footsteps of his father, George, who served as sheriff from 1978 to 1986.

He says the department can do more with less and wants more supervisors on the streets.

Willie Mayes Sr., an Aurora Democrat, is a lieutenant in the sheriff's department and has served as a correctional officer at the Kane County jail and the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Mayes touts a plan for his first 100 days in office as a way for residents to hold him accountable.

McHenry County sheriff

Voters in McHenry County also will elect a new sheriff.

Republican Bill Prim, 55, of Cary, a retired Des Plaines police commander, and Independent James T. "Jim" Harrison, 56, of Johnsburg, an attorney in Woodstock, are vying for the post.

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Both candidates said they want to look at curbing costs within the office and tackle the heroin problem. Prim wants to improve morale within the department; Harrison says the department needs to reconnect with the community.

43rd House District

For the state legislature, the 43rd House District race pits incumbent Democrat Anna Moeller, who was appointed in March after Keith Farnham resigned, against Republican challenger and attorney Jeffrey Meyer. Both live in Elgin.

Both candidates say the 2011 income tax increase should be allowed to expire as scheduled Jan. 1. Moeller is in favor of requiring municipalities to negotiate staffing size with firefighters unions, while Meyer is against that. Moeller has opted to forego her state representative's pension, and Meyer said he'd do the same if elected. Both oppose any expansion of gambling.

Kane County District 23

In Kane County Board District 23, only a few percentage points separated Maggie Auger and Kevin Smith when they first squared off for the seat two years ago. On Tuesday, Smith, the Democratic challenger, will face Auger again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Whichever candidate wins will play a key role in the fate of the county's Longmeadow Parkway project.

Auger, a Republican, supports the current plan for the bridge over the Fox River to be funded with a user toll that would expire once the $135 million project is paid.

Smith said the northern portion of the county deserves a toll-free bridge just like the Stearns Road bridge.

14th Congressional

The 14th Congressional District race features a rematch between incumbent Republican Randy Hultgren and Democratic challenger Dennis Anderson.

Hultgren won the first contest two years ago by 18 percentage points. That, and district lines drawn to favor a Republican, makes for an uphill battle for Anderson on Election Day.

Anderson campaigned on a platform that supports the Affordable Care Act, advocates compromise to end congressional dysfunction and views an increase to the minimum wage as an important spur for the economy.

Hultgren stands by his preference for repealing the Affordable Care Act, has major concerns about the influence of federal government via Common Core education requirements, and views American boots on the ground as a potential, though not preferred, method of combating the advance of the Islamic State in the Middle East.

McHenry County Dist. 1

For the McHenry County Board, three candidates are running for two seats representing District 1.

Incumbents Nick Chirikos, a Democrat, and Bob Nowak, a Republican, who touted the county's AAA bond rating, are running against newcomer Republican Andrew Gasser, who says he wants to curb property taxes and capital expenses.

Gasser, a military veteran, says he wants to add transparency to the board. Also, he wants to take a look at whether McHenry County's government is too large.

Chirikos, who was elected in 2012, advocates reducing the size of the county board and increasing the number of districts, as well as building a high-speed fiber optic communications network.

Nowak, who was elected in 2010, says the county's ground water must be protected. He'd like to improve transportation and create a program to attract more businesses in McHenry County.

McHenry County Dist. 5

In McHenry District 5, three candidates are running for two seats.

Two incumbents, Democrat Paula Yensen and Republican John Jung, will face Republican challenger Michael Rein.

Jung, a small-business owner, was first elected in 1994. Yensen has been a board member since 2008. Rein, a chiropractor, is a political newcomer.

All three candidates support maintaining a flat county tax levy moving forward and tightening expenditures.

McHenry County Dist. 3

In McHenry County's District 3, incumbent Republican Joe Gottemoller and challengers Kathleen Bergan Schmidt, a Democrat, and Donald Kopsell, a Republican, are vying for two seats.

Gottemoller, a real estate and zoning attorney, was elected to the board in 2012. He has served as chairman of the county board's planning and development committee, which has overseen review of the proposed Unified Development Ordinance.

Kopsell, a Vietnam War veteran, lost his 2013 re-election bid as Nunda Township highway commissioner. He previously served in that post 16 years.

Schmidt is a former county board member.

• Daily Herald staff writers Harry Hitzeman, Madhu Krishnamurthy and James Fuller contributed to this report.

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