DuPage Democrats ready to challenge for all 6 county board districts

The start of filing for the March 17 primary election in DuPage County attracted an unprecedented number of Democrats Monday in what, until a year or so ago, had been a traditional Republican stronghold.

Democrats were filing nominating petitions Monday to challenge Republican incumbents for all six available county board seats next fall. Several of those Democratic candidates could find themselves in contested spring primaries.

The filing period ends Monday, Dec. 2.

The most hotly contested Democratic primary has emerged in District 4, where five candidates are expected to vie for their party's nod to face incumbent Republican Tim Elliott of Glen Ellyn next November.

Four of those candidates filed Monday morning - Hadiya Afzal of Glen Ellyn, Janette DeFelice of Glen Ellyn, John Jacobs of Wheaton and Lynn LaPlante of Glen Ellyn. Party leaders say they also expect Hailey Nicewanner of Glen Ellyn to run.

Elliott, a former Glen Ellyn village trustee, said he will submit his paperwork Tuesday.

LaPlante narrowly lost her bid to unseat county board Chairman Dan Cronin a year ago.

The district covers all or parts of Addison, Bloomingdale, Carol Stream, Glen Ellyn, Lisle, Lombard, Wheaton and Winfield.

Here's an early look at who else has filed so far:

District 1

Zahra Suratwala, an Elmhurst Democrat, filed Monday and a second candidate, Richard Accomando, also is expected to turn in petitions. The winner would face GOP incumbent Donald Puchalski of Addison.

The district covers all or parts of Addison, Bensenville, Bloomingdale, Elmhurst, Glendale Heights, Itasca, Lombard, Roselle, Villa Park and Wood Dale.

District 5

On the Democratic ticket, Amy Chavez of Naperville and Mary Jo Mullen of Lisle are set to square off, with the winner facing Republican newcomer Kevin Coyne, a Naperville City Council member, in November. Incumbent Republican Jim Healy is not seeking reelection in the district that covers all or parts of Aurora, Lisle, Naperville, Warrenville and Woodridge.

Other districts

Officials don't expect contested primaries in three other districts where candidates on both sides officially launched their campaigns Monday.

In District 2, GOP incumbent Sean Noonan of Elmhurst is set to face Democrat Paula Deacon Garcia of Lisle. In District 3, Republican incumbent Brian Krajewski of Downers Grove is expected to be challenged by Democrat Gail Cabala-Lowry of Downers Grove. And in District 6, Republican incumbent Bob Larsen of Wheaton will be challenged by Democrat Greg Schwarze, a Carol Stream village trustee and firefighter.


Several countywide posts also will be up for election next November, and there likely will be Democratic primaries for several of those seats, too.

The race for auditor could feature contested primaries in both parties. Republican Jeffrey Mack of Downers Grove is challenging incumbent Bob Grogan, and two Democrats, Bruce Fogerty of Wheaton and Bill White of Downers Grove, also filed on Monday.

A pair of Democrats, Moon Khan and Candice Adams, filed for clerk of the circuit court in the primary, with the winner advancing to the November general election to oppose GOP incumbent Chris Kachiroubas.

Two Democrats, Muhammad Shahzad and Greg Whalen, are expected to compete in the primary for coroner to face Republican incumbent Rich Jorgensen. Whalen, a lieutenant with the Glencoe Department of Public Safety, unsuccessfully ran in 2018 to replace Sheriff John Zaruba.

Democrat Kathleen Carrier is expected to run unopposed in March for her party's nomination as county recorder where two GOP newcomers from Wheaton are competing for their party's bid: Babette Holder Youngberg and Ron Almiron.

State's Attorney Bob Berlin will be unopposed in the GOP Republican primary; no Democrats have announced plans to challenge him.

Forest preserve

In District 2, Lombard Democrat Tina Tyson Dunne filed Monday as did Karen Kelly, a Republican from Downers Grove. The seat is now held by Jeffrey Redick, who commissioners appointed to the post in 2014.

In District 4, Tim Whelan, a Wheaton Republican, is seeking reelection. Jeff Gahris of Wheaton filed as a Democrat.

In District 5, the field of GOP contenders includes incumbent Mary Lou Wehrli of Naperville and primary opponent Carl Schultz of Aurora.

Barbara O'Meara also is expected to seek the Democratic nomination for the District 5 seat.

Primaries likely in several congressional, suburban legislative races

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