Four candidates file to run for Aurora mayor

 
 
Updated 11/23/2016 10:26 AM
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  • Linda Fechner, right, executive director with the Aurora Election Commission, talks to candidates Monday for the first day of filing for municipal offices in Aurora.

      Linda Fechner, right, executive director with the Aurora Election Commission, talks to candidates Monday for the first day of filing for municipal offices in Aurora. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • Linda Chapa LaVia is one of four Aurora candidates to file at 8 a.m. Monday to run for mayor in the state's second-largest city. Rick Guzman, Richard Irvin and Mike Saville also filed. A lottery will be held Nov. 30 to determine the order in which the four will appear on the ballot.

      Linda Chapa LaVia is one of four Aurora candidates to file at 8 a.m. Monday to run for mayor in the state's second-largest city. Rick Guzman, Richard Irvin and Mike Saville also filed. A lottery will be held Nov. 30 to determine the order in which the four will appear on the ballot. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

Aurora's mayoral race officially opened Monday morning with four candidates submitting nominating petitions at the start of the filing period.

Linda Chapa LaVia, Rick Guzman, Richard Irvin and Mike Saville all were in line at the Aurora Election Commission for the start of the weeklong period for mayoral and aldermanic hopefuls in the state's second-largest city to submit paperwork for the spring election.

The deadline for filing nominating petitions is Nov. 28.

Chapa LaVia said she wasn't surprised she and her three opponents all were on hand to file simultaneously at 8 a.m.

"This is an important race," she said. "It's the second-largest city (in Illinois). And it's good, but it could go to great. So there's a lot of possibilities here."

A lottery is planned for Nov. 30 to determine which of the four mayoral candidates will get the top spot on the ballot.

Meanwhile, it's possible at least one more candidate will emerge and trigger the need for a primary.

If more than four candidates seek the same seat, a primary election will be held Feb. 28 to narrow the field back to four before the April 4 election.

Chapa LaVia, Guzman, Irvin and Saville started campaigning for the mayoral seat after it became clear three-term Mayor Tom Weisner wasn't going to seek re-election. Weisner stepped down Oct. 30 because of health concerns.

Moments after submitting his paperwork on Monday, Irvin said he's running for mayor because he loves Aurora.

"I know that with Irvin leadership we can go toward the future," said Irvin, an alderman-at-large who has been on the city council since 2007.

Irvin said he wants to move Aurora forward by ensuring the city has a strong economic base, strengthening its infrastructure and improving education.

"We have come leaps and bounds from where we were 10 years ago to where we are now," he said. "I want to continue building on those successes as well as introducing new ideas and new innovations."

Guzman said he entered the mayoral race for a variety of reasons.

"The biggest one is that I'm just really excited about the prospects for the city for Aurora," he said. "I feel like our greatest days are right in front of us."

Guzman, who has served as assistant chief of staff in Weisner's office since 2011, touted his work in the executive branch of government.

"The day-to-day operations, overseeing a big staff, putting the budgets together, implementing the programs and policies," Guzman said, "I'm the only candidate who has actual experience in doing those things on a regular basis."

Saville talked about his own level of experience.

"I've had literally decades of dedication for the city of Aurora," said Saville, a real estate agent and Ward 6 alderman who joined the council in 1985. He said he has the experience, leadership and ideas to implement programs and policies to improve the city.

Chapa LaVia said all of her opponents are "great people."

But as a state representative since 2003, she said she has the ability to connect with local, state and federal officials. That will allow her to hit the ground running, she said.

"I won't need to make the relationships because the relationships are already there," said Chapa LaVia, who is veteran of the Army and National Guard.

In addition to the race for mayor, candidates for alderman in wards 2, 4, 7, 9 and 10 along with one alderman-at-large seat must file with the Aurora Election Commission.

On Monday morning, the first aldermanic candidates to file were Ward 4 incumbent Bill Donnell, Ward 9 incumbent Edward Bugg and Judd Lofchie in Ward 10. Ward 2 incumbent Juany Garza filed later in the morning. In the afternoon, Keith Bradley filed to run for the Ward 10 seat.

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