Write-in candidate joins trustee race in Island Lake
A write-in candidate has complicated the race for seats on Island Lake's village board.
Local resident and restaurateur Chris Carlsen filed the paperwork needed to legitimize a write-in campaign last week -- weeks after the filing period to appear on the ballot ended.
Carlen's unanticipated candidacy means there are now four candidates for three seats on the board.
The other candidates -- Will Ziegler, Anthony Sciarrone and Richard W. McLaughlin Jr. -- filed election petitions in December and their names will appear on April 2 ballots.
Until Carlsen entered the race, the trio had been assured victory. But now, one of the four will be the odd man out once votes are counted on Election Day.
A 14-year Island Lake resident, Carlsen owns the Chi-Town Dogs restaurant in town and also is a professional pipe fitter. He said he's running a write-in campaign because family obligations kept him from circulating candidate petitions in the fall.
"I've always wanted to be involved more in Island Lake politics," Carlsen said. "I really see potential for the village. It's a nice little town."
That said, Carlsen is aware of the ugliness that has marred village politics. Feuds between elected officials aren't uncommon, resulting in negative publicity and occasionally costly legal battles.
Carlsen wants to change that image.
"The only way to change anything and make something positive is to try," he said.
Of the four candidates, Ziegler is the only incumbent. A former member of the village's planning and zoning commission, he was appointed to fill a vacancy on the board late last month.
Sciarrone is a former trustee and former police chief. He served on the village board from 2013 to 2015 and resigned when he was named chief. He was fired as chief by the village board in October after an investigation into how he ran the department.
McLaughlin leads the village's fire and police commission.
In order to become a write-in candidate in Illinois, a person must file a specific form with the county clerk at least 61 days before an election. The deadline for April's election was extended to Feb. 1 from Jan. 31 due to last week's extreme weather.
Write-in candidates also have surfaced for municipal seats in North Barrington, Lake Villa, Third Lake and other Lake County communities, as well as for various school, park and library district races.