Candidate filing begins in Aurora, Naperville, Wheaton

 
 
Posted11/21/2016 5:40 AM
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With the dust still settling from the presidential election, officials in DuPage County and Aurora already are gearing up for local elections in the spring.

The filing period for candidates seeking municipal posts in Aurora, Naperville and Wheaton begins today and continues through Nov. 28.

Filing in those towns starts earlier than in others because if more than four candidates pursue any one post, a Feb. 28 primary will be needed to winnow the field. No more than four candidates for a single seat are allowed to appear on the general election ballot in April.

Candidates in towns that aren't eligible for primaries will not begin filing their nominating petitions until next month. The general election is April 4.

This year, Republicans in several townships in DuPage County are planning primaries in February no matter how many candidates file.

Here's a quick look at the potential races:

Aurora

The state's second-largest city is expected to have one of the most-watched mayoral races in the suburbs.

Three-term Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner stepped down Oct. 30 because of health concerns. Four candidates -- Linda Chapa LaVia, Rick Guzman, Richard Irvin and Mike Saville -- already are campaigning for his seat.

Chapa LaVia, a veteran of the Army and National Guard, has served as a state representative since 2003. Guzman has served as assistant chief of staff in Weisner's office since 2011. Irvin is an alderman-at-large who has been on the city council since 2007. Saville is a real estate agent and Ward 6 alderman who joined the council in 1985.

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

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.

Naperville

After an unusual 2015 election in which all eight Naperville City Council seats and the mayor's post were up at once, this election includes only four expiring city council terms.

Those elected to the seats will get 4-year terms on the panel leading the state's fifth-largest city.

Incumbents Judith Brodhead, Kevin Coyne, Kevin Gallaher and John Krummen all have pulled packets from the city clerk's office and are expected to seek re-election.

Financial advisory board member and small-business owner Mike Isaac says he will campaign for a seat as well, while at least three others -- 2015 candidates Steve Peterson and John Colletti and Naperville Area Homeowners Confederation President Bob Fischer -- say they are considering runs.

The clerk's office says residents Charles Kennedy and Benjamin White, a school board member in Indian Prairie Unit District 204, also have pulled packets for a potential run. Kennedy and White did not return calls seeking comment.

The race appears headed straight for the April 4 election because 17 candidates -- or one more than four times the number of seats available -- must file to trigger a primary.

Wheaton

All four district seats on the Wheaton City Council are up for grabs.

Incumbents Phil Suess, Thor Saline, John Rutledge and Todd Scalzo are expected to seek re-election. They represent the north, east, south and west districts of the city, respectively.

Other residents who have pulled packets from the city clerk's office include Roger Frye, Lynn Robbins, Joseph Leone, Robert McNeily, Thomas Dymit, Katherine Patel and Scott Lightbody. More than four candidates would need to file for one of the district seats to cause a primary.

"We've had it in the past where packets have gone out but they have not been filed," City Clerk Sharon Barrett-Hagen said. "You never know how Monday is going to go. Not everyone wants to come the first day."

Townships

In a twist this year, Republicans in Naperville, Winfield and Wayne townships will use a Feb. 28 primary to select next spring's township candidates.

As a result, voters will pick the GOP nominees for every township post, including the supervisor, assessor, highway commissioner and clerk. The primary winners will face the Democratic Party nominees in the April election.

Traditionally, Republicans and Democrats in DuPage's nine townships gather during a caucus to nominate their party's candidates.

• Daily Herald staff writers Jessica Cilella and Marie Wilson contributed to this report.

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