Following social media post, Arlington Heights board race now contested

  • Richard Baldino

    Richard Baldino

  • Mark Walker

    Mark Walker

 
 
Updated 2/3/2017 7:59 PM

Two write-in candidates have filed to run for Arlington Heights village board, making the once-uncontested race competitive.

Richard Baldino and Mark Walker, who are both seeking a full 4-year term on the board, say what triggered their candidacies was the recent social media posting of Joe Favia, a political newcomer whose name will be on the ballot with three incumbent village trustees. Favia's post on his brother's Facebook page was an internet meme picture from the Jan. 21 women's march in Washington, D.C.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Both Baldino and Walker, who are making their first bids for elective office, submitted paperwork by Thursday's end-of-the-day deadline at the Cook County Clerk's office. There are four seats up for election this April.

"Not only were those comments ill-advised to say the least, but running unopposed -- that shouldn't happen in local politics," said Walker, a Lake Zurich native who has lived in Arlington Heights since 2014.

Walker, who interned for the Ohio Democratic Party while in college, also said he's considered becoming more involved in politics since the presidential election. He is not related to former Democratic State Rep. Mark Walker of Arlington Heights.

Baldino, a 17-year resident, said he was encouraged to run by residents who oppose Favia.

"We are concerned about his ability to objectively represent his entire constituency -- in light of his disrespectful post -- potentially half of the people who live in Arlington Heights," said Baldino, a consulting environmental chemist and board chair of First United Methodist Church in Arlington Heights.

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Favia, a local dentist and one-time chamber of commerce board president, told the Daily Herald this week he respects women and meant the posting to be humorous. Some residents say they plan to attend Monday's village board meeting to publicly ask Favia to withdraw from the race, but Favia said he has no such plans.

The three incumbent trustees seeking re-election to four-year terms are Bert Rosenberg, Tom Glasgow and Jim Tinaglia. Mayor Tom Hayes is unopposed in his bid for a second term.

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