Endorsements: Our choices for Kane County Board seats

This endorsement is a consensus opinion of the Daily Herald Editorial Board.

Faced with a more than $8 million budget shortfall, rising costs related to the SAFE-T Act and a desire to hike employee pay to resolve a troubling rate of turnover, Kane County Board members have spent much of 2022 debating where to come up with needed funding.

Do they establish a countywide sales tax? Raise property taxes? Cut spending elsewhere?

Board candidates chosen by voters in the Nov. 8 election will have to answer those questions, along with many others surrounding issues facing the 24-member panel, in the months and years ahead.

These are our recommendations for voters when they head to the polls on Election Day.

District 2: Incumbent Democrat Dale Berman is challenged by Republican Bob McQuillan. We admire McQuillan's experience in the financial sector and dedication to keeping taxes low, but we are taken aback by his suggestion Kane County should simply ignore the SAFE-T Act instead of finding ways to comply with it. Berman is endorsed.

District 4: Incumbent Democrat Mavis Bates points to her experience as a small business owner and helping to establish a more transparent election process in Kane County. Her challenger, Republican Donald Foley, declined to attend an endorsement interview and offered only brief responses on his candidate questionnaire. Bates is endorsed.

District 5: Republican incumbent Bill Lenert is a strong advocate for public safety, funding mental health services and encouraging economic growth. Democrat Deirdre Battaglia did not participate in the interview. We endorse Lenert.

District 6: Democrat Ron Ford is a strong proponent for creating an economic development plan to create job opportunities in technology and other fields. Republican Dean Seppelfrick did not participate in the interview. We endorse Ford.

District 8: With experience working in law enforcement, Democratic incumbent Michelle Gumz understands that funding SAFE-T Act mandates will require more employees and supports letting voters decide on a retail sales tax to do so. Republican challenger Devin Corbett supports a balanced budget with lower taxes, no COVID-19 mandates and creating a business-friendly environment We endorse Gumz.

District 10: Democratic challenger William Tarver would bring a social service background and cautious, measured approach, but incumbent Republican David Brown has a steep advantage when it comes to experience and knowledge of county government. We endorse Brown.

District 11: Two strong candidates are vying to replace outgoing Republican John Martin, who did not seek reelection. Fellow Republican Brian Jones is smart and well-schooled in the issues facing the county, and we can see why Martin encouraged him to run. But so too is his Democratic opponent, Leslie Juby. Neither would be the wrong choice, but we lean to Juby, whose years of public service give her an edge. We endorse Juby.

District 12: Republican Bill Roth faces Democrat Steve Bruesewitz. Neither have experience in public office, but we prefer Roth's more measured approach when it comes to spending issues. We endorse Roth.

District 13: Democrat Mike Linder, a retired teacher and former St. Charles park board member, is an earnest, thoughtful candidate who we have little doubt could fill this role. But we see no reason for voters to replace Republican Todd Wallace, a voice of fiscal restraint with a strong record of public service. We endorse Wallace.

District 14: Democratic challenger Tom Hodge's knowledge of real estate and commitment to clean water would be an asset to the board. But we lean to Republican incumbent Mark Davoust, a proven advocate for open space whose conservative fiscal approach is needed. We endorse Davoust.

District 15: Republican David Young did not interview with the editorial board or reply to a Daily Herald questionnaire. Democrat Scott Johansen is also a political neophyte, but gets our nod for putting forth thoughtful answers to issues facing the county. We endorse Johansen.

District 17: This race presents a study in contrasts, as longtime Elgin resident and Democratic incumbent Deborah Allan faces Republican John Hahn, a newcomer to politics and Kane County. Hahn would bring a valuable fresh perspective, but with so many pressing issues facing the board, we lean to experience. We endorse Allan.

District 18: Republican newcomer Richard "Rick" Williams promises to bring a private sector mentality and business friendly approach. Democrat Sam Walker did not interview with the editorial board or reply to a Daily Herald questionnaire. We endorse Williams.

District 19: Republican challenger Cody Holt offers creative, conservative proposals for dealing with issues facing the county and has experience in public office, but Democratic incumbent Mohammad "Mo" Iqbal earns our nod for his proven taxpayer-first mentality and focus on everyday issues facing county residents. We endorse Iqbal.

District 20: Democrat incumbent Cherryl Fritz Strathmann is a solid incumbent, but Republican challenger Lucio Estrada's military leadership and passion for youth and addressing violence are especially strong points in his favor. We endorse Estrada.

District 21: Democrat Courtney Boe has a passion for mental health, women's rights and affordable housing. but incumbent Republican Cliff Surges' experience and commitment are key. We endorse Surges.

District 22: Incumbent Democrat Vern Tepe is informative about taxes, engaged and mindful of the budget. His Republican challenger, Jeffrey Meyer desires to serve and says he'd put families first. We endorse Tepe.

District 23: Republican challenger Gregory Buck says traffic congestion, open space and high taxes are his top concerns. Democratic incumbent Christopher Kious says he's good for open space, has time to do the job and weighs every option on issues. We endorse Kious.

District 24: Democratic incumbent Jaret Sanchez offers a balanced approach to addressing the county's financial needs while also being mindful of taxpayers, has innovative ideas for boosting the local economy. He faces Republican Charles Myers. We endorse Sanchez.

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