Lauzen now says bid for third term is 'up in the air'
One month after saying he would run a "full campaign" for reelection, Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen said Wednesday his plans for another term are "still up in the air."
The change in tone follows Lauzen's first lengthy vacation of the year, over the holidays. In years past, that's proven to be a time when Lauzen crafts new strategies or proposals for the coming year.
This year, local Republicans expected it to be a time when Lauzen would make a final decision on a third term as chairman. With fellow Republican and longtime Kane County Treasurer David Rickert already announcing he's in the race for chairman, few in the party saw any scenario where Lauzen would not bow out and chase a new opportunity.
Multiple Republicans said they believed a deal between Rickert and Lauzen was in place before Rickert announced his run. But neither candidate has publicly verified that rumor.
Just last month, Lauzen said there was no deal and he would be "running hard" for a third term after filing 102 pages of nominating signatures. Lauzen publicly opened the door to the idea of stepping away for the first time Wednesday.
"At some point, I'll want to announce a decision because I'll be launching (a campaign) or whatever the alternatives are," Lauzen said. "I like to do things gracefully."
Lauzen indicated the date of that announcement is likely to be just before the Jan. 15 deadline for candidates in local races to withdraw from the March primary ballot. He said the fulfillment he gets from the job is a compelling reason to seek a third term.
"When I served in the (state) Senate, it was 175 miles away," Lauzen said. "This job, when you're dealing with people's property taxes, is very personal. I get stopped in grocery stores, on the sidewalk and in the neighborhood. When you can have an immediate impact, it's very satisfying from a public servant's point of view."
There are also two Democrats -- Greg Elsbree and Corinne Pierog -- who will square off in March to become the challenger for the GOP candidate for chairman.