Lauzen, Shepro to vie for Kane chairman; Bianchi challenged

  • Chris Lauzen

    Chris Lauzen

  • Ken Shepro

    Ken Shepro

Updated 11/30/2015 8:46 PM

There was a time when Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen and St. Charles Republican Party Chairman Ken Shepro traded thoughts and books about the classic Humphrey Bogart film "Casablanca." Despite their mutual fandom, it was not the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

The two Republicans will be the featured contest on March primary ballots as they vie to be the Republican candidate for county board chairman. They wasted no time Monday, the final day to file for state and county office, in pointing out the contrasts in their approaches.


Lauzen seeks another four years with the goal of extending the county's five-year streak of a frozen property tax levy.

"That's really the big measure," Lauzen said. "For 25 years, that's all I've heard from constituents. They are fed up with taxes. I agree with them. We know the objective. There is a line in the sand, and we mean to stand by it."

Lauzen said he's spent the past three years "restoring credibility to county government" and working to stay humble while "treating people respectfully."

"I have had my differences with the coroner, but beside that, I'm so grateful to the other countywide elected officials for the work they've done," Lauzen said.

Lauzen said he welcomes the challenge from Shepro as a fellow Republican. He believes time has shown him as the better Republican when measured against just about all his former rivals, such as former Gov. George Ryan and former House Speaker Dennie Hastert, who didn't support Lauzen's bid to succeed him in Congress. "I welcome the comparison you'll see in this campaign."

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Shepro, though, said Republican voters should compare county government today versus the years just before Lauzen taking over. Shepro said the county's regional plan commission and farmland preservation committees no longer function. There is no economic development focus or staff that Shepro said he is aware of.

"All these things ought to be part of the county agenda, even if it is just to assist the municipalities in bringing new development to the county," Shepro said. "Instead, what (Lauzen) has brought is a culture of intimidation, confrontation and the inability to take criticism."

Despite the "Reform Kane" ticket and platform Lauzen ran upon, Shepro said Lauzen has brought "Springfield politics" to the county board. He pointed to Lauzen's hiring of fellow Reform Kane candidate Robert Sauceda as an example of "cronyism."

Shepro said he believes Lauzen was key in replacing Republican Melisa Taylor with Bill Lenert, a longtime friend, when Taylor began asking too many questions about county operations. Shepro said the county board should also at least have the chance to debate a resolution in full support of Gov. Bruce Rauner's turnaround agenda.


"Frankly, Lauzen doesn't have much of a record as a good Republican," Shepro said.

Here is a look at other primary contests in the Fox Valley.

State legislature

• Crystal Lake Republican state Rep. Mike Tryon's decision not to seek another term has created one of the biggest fields to replace him. Four local Republicans have signed up to seek the nomination in this district, which includes southern McHenry and northeastern Kane Counties. So far, the candidates are East Dundee Trustee Allen Skillicorn, West Dundee Trustee Dan Wilbrandt, McHenry County Board member Carolyn Schofield of Crystal Lake and Lakewood Trustee Paul Serwatka.

• When U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth of Hoffman Estates decided to run for the U.S. Senate, it set off a political chain reaction. State Sen. Noland, an Elgin Democrat, decided to seek her seat in Congress, freeing up his spot in the Illinois Senate. So far, two Democrats are seeking Noland's seat: Kane County Board member Cristina Castro of Elgin and Hanover Township Trustee Steve Caramelli. The seat includes parts of Hoffman Estates, Elgin and Carpentersville.

• State Sen. Dan Duffy, a Lake Barrington Republican, decided not to seek re-election and quickly backed Dan McConchie of Hawthorn Woods to replace him. But Mettawa Mayor Casey Urlacher, brother of former Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher, will seek Duffy's seat, too, as will Barrington Hills Mayor Martin McLaughlin. The district includes parts of northwest Cook County, southern and central Lake County and southeastern McHenry County.

• State Rep. Jack Franks, a Democrat from Marengo, will face one of two Republicans, Steven Reick of Harvard and Jeffery Lichte of McHenry, who have filed to run in the March primary.

McHenry County state's attorney

McHenry County State's Attorney Lou Bianchi will face two other candidates familiar with the office in the Republican primary.

Patrick Kenneally, an assistant state's attorney and a Crystal Lake resident, and Daniel Regna, a former assistant state's attorney under Bianchi's predecessor Gary Pack, filed Monday.

This is the second time Regna, a Woodstock attorney, is challenging Bianchi in the race for state's attorney. He also ran against him in the 2008 primary.

Kenneally has worked in the office's felony division since 2007 and has worked on jury and bench trials of felonies and misdemeanors, according to an online biography.

Bianchi, who has held the state's attorney position since December 2004, filed for re-election on Nov. 23.

Other McHenry County racers include:

County board chairman

For the first time in McHenry County, voters will elect their county board chairman next year.

Republican candidates Michael Walkup and incumbent Joe Gottemoller, both from Crystal Lake, will face off during the March primary.

The board chairman's responsibilities include setting board meeting agendas, communicating with the county administration and neighboring counties, filling board vacancies by appointment and acting as the board's spokesman, said Gottemoller, who has served in that role since December 2014.

Gottemoller, who was elected to the board in 2012, said he wants the county board to continue to control spending and reduce government size. Additionally, he said, the county needs to move its tax base from mostly residential to more commercial and industrial.

"I would look at economic development as the number one thing the county needs," he said.

Walkup, an attorney with "deep roots" in the county, is also seeking re-election in a contested race for a District 3 seat.

"I'm interested in government reform and fighting taxes, and I've been in the forefront of a lot of those efforts," he said. "This race is really about whether McHenry County is ready for reform."

In McHenry County, the board chairman receives an annual salary of about $82,000, and a regular board member receives about $20,000.

County board

Two county board seats from each of the six districts are up for election, and all will be contested during the Republican primary. With the exception of District 4, each district has one Democratic candidate.

The only other countywide race is that of recorder, where three Republican candidates have filed.

Kane CountyState's Attorney

(Republican) 4-year term

Joseph H. McMahon*


(Republican) 4-year term

Craig P. Lee

Terry Hunt*


(Democrat) 4-year term

Tao "Tom" Martinez

(Republican) 4-year term

L. Robert Russell*

Robert Tiballi

Recorder of deeds

(Republican) 4-year term

Sandy Wegman*

Board Chairman

(Republican) 4-year term

Chris Lauzen*

Kenneth Shepro

County Board, District 2

(Democrat) 4-year term

Theresa Barreiro*

County Board, District 4

(Democrat) 4-year term

Angela Clay Thomas

Brian Pollock*

County Board, District 6

(Democrat) 4-year term

Brian W. Dahl*

(Republican) 4-year term

Donald G. Baltzer

County board, District 8

(Democrat) 4-year term

Barbara Hernanez

Margaret "Maggy" Ferguson

(Republican) 4-year term

Linda Pasetti-Olson

County board, District 10

(Democrat) 4-year term

Todd A. Zies

(Republican) 4-year term

Susan Starrett*

County board, District 12

(Republican) 4-year term

John Hoscheit*

County board, District 14

(Republican) 4-year term

Mark Davoust*

County board, District 16

(Republican) 4-year term

Mike Kenyon*

County board, District 18

(Republican) 4-year term

Drew Frasz*

James A. Macrunnels

County board, District 20

(Democrat) 4-year term

Penny Wegman

Tom Armstrong

County board, District 22

(Democrat) 4-year term

Randy Hopp

Willie Clements

County board, District 24

(Democrat) 4-year term

Jarrett Sanchez

Joseph Haimann*

(Republican) 4-year term

Billita Jacobsen

Roben B. Hall

McHenry CountyState's Attorney

(Republican) 4-year term

Daniel Regna

Louis Bianchi*

Patrick Keanneally


(Republican) 4-year term

Pamela Palmer*

Clerk of the Circuit Court

(Republican) 4-year term

Katherine Keefe*


(Republican) 4-year term

Anne Majewski*

Recorder of deeds

(Republican) 4-year term

Joe Tirio

Joni Smith

Tina Hill

County Board, District 1

(Democrat) Vote for 2, 2-year terms

Kerri Barber

(Republican) Vote for 2, 2-year terms

Anna May Miller*

Terence Ferenc

Tom Wilbeck

Yvonne Barnes*

County Board, District 2

(Democrat) Vote for 2, 2-year terms

Dominique Miller

(Republican) Vote for 2, 2-year terms

Cameron Hubbard

Jeffrey Thorsen*

John Reinert

County Board, District 3

(Democrat) Vote for 2, 2-year terms

Kenneth Miller

(Republican) Vote for 2, 2-year terms

Cherie Rickert

Michael Walkup*

Nancy Gonsiorek

Nick Provenzano*

County Board, District 4

(Republican) Vote for 2, 2-year terms

Craig Wilcox

Kay Bates

Sue Draffkorn*

County Board, District 5

(Democrat) Vote for 2, 2-year terms

Alex Wimmer

(Republican) Vote for 2, 2-year terms

Andy Snarski

Joe Calomino

Michael Skala*

County Board, District 6

(Democrat) Vote for 2, 2-year terms

Allison Barnard

(Republican) Vote for 2, 2-year terms

Ersel Schuster

James Kearns

Kelly Liebmann

Mary McCann*

Preston Rea


(Democrat) 4-year term

Susana Mendoza

(Republican) 4-year term

Leslie Munger

State Legislature


Senate, 22nd District

(Democrat) 4-year term

Cristina Castro

Steve Caramelli

Senate, 25th District

(Democrat) 4-year term

Corinne Pierog

(Republican) 4-year term

Jim Oberweis*

Senate, 26th District

(Republican) 2-year term

Casey Urlacher

Dan McConchie

Martin McLaughlin


Representative, 43rd District

(Democrat) 2-year term

Anna Moeller*

Representative, 49th District

(Republican) 2-year term

Mike Fortner*

Representative, 50th District

(Republican) 2-year term

Keith Wheeler*

Representative, 52nd District

(Republican) 2-year term

David McSweeney*

Representative, 63rd District

(Democrat) 2-year term

Jack Franks*

(Republican) 2-year term

Jeffery Lichte

Steven Reick

Representative, 64th District

(Republican) 2-year term

Barbara Wheeler*

Representative, 65th District

(Republican) 2-year term

Steve Andersson*

Representative, 66th District

(Democrat) 2-year term

Nancy Zettler

(Republican) 2-year term

Allen Skillicorn

Carolyn Schofield

Dan Wilbrandt

Paul Serwatka

Representative, 83rd District

(Democrat) 2-year term

Linda Chapa LaVia*

Representative, 84th District

(Democrat) 2-year term

Stephanie Kifowit*

(Republican) 2-year term

Mike Strick

* = Incumbent

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