Contested races emerge on first filing day in DuPage and Kane towns

  • Candidates Steve Thoren, seated at left, and Dustin Good file their nominating petitions Monday to run for city council in the 2021 Elgin municipal election. Deputy Clerk Jennifer Quinton, left, and Clerk Kim Dewis were working with them. There are four seats open in the April 6 election.

      Candidates Steve Thoren, seated at left, and Dustin Good file their nominating petitions Monday to run for city council in the 2021 Elgin municipal election. Deputy Clerk Jennifer Quinton, left, and Clerk Kim Dewis were working with them. There are four seats open in the April 6 election. Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • Anthony Ortiz was first in line Monday to file his nominating petitions for one of the four Elgin City Council seats available in the 2021 municipal election. City Clerk Kim Dewis, right, was going over his paperwork. Steve Thoren, pictured in the foreground, was second in line.

      Anthony Ortiz was first in line Monday to file his nominating petitions for one of the four Elgin City Council seats available in the 2021 municipal election. City Clerk Kim Dewis, right, was going over his paperwork. Steve Thoren, pictured in the foreground, was second in line. Rick West | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 11/23/2020 10:55 AM
Editor's note: The first name of an Aurora candidate was misspelled in the initial version.

Mayoral and city council hopefuls in DuPage and Kane counties officially launched their campaigns Monday with the start of candidate filing to appear on the spring ballot.

In Aurora, the state's second-largest city, Mayor Richard Irvin will face at least two challengers. Contested city council races also are emerging in Downers Grove, Naperville and Wheaton.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The filing period for candidates seeking municipal posts began in some towns Monday and continues through Nov. 23.

Filing in those suburbs starts earlier than in others because if more than four candidates pursue any one seat, municipalities will hold a Feb. 23 primary to narrow the field.

Candidates in towns that aren't eligible for primaries will not begin turning in their nominating petitions to city clerks until Dec. 14. The municipal election is April 6.

Here's a rundown of the candidate field so far.

Aurora

Richard Irvin, who is seeking his second term as Aurora's mayor, will face Ward 10 Alderman Judd Lofchie and former East Aurora school board member John Laesch.

Irvin is an attorney who served as an alderman for 10 years before being elected mayor in 2017. Lofchie is an attorney and real estate broker who was elected to the city council in 2017. Laesch is a carpenter who previously ran for Congress.

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The list of aldermanic candidates who filed Monday includes Ward 2 incumbent Juany Garza, Ward 4 incumbent Bill Donnell and Ward 9 incumbent Edward Bugg.

Incumbent Alderman Scheketa Hart-Burns and Saul Fultz III filed for the Ward 7 seat. Arjun Nair and Shweta Baid filed to run for the Ward 10 seat. Ron Woerman filed for the alderman-at-large seat.

Elgin

Four candidates arrived early to city hall to file their 2021 nominating petitions for the four available Elgin City Council seats. Anthony Ortiz, Steve Thoren, Dustin Good and Richard Johnson turned in their paperwork Monday with the city clerk. The 4-year seats currently are held by Corey Dixon, Terry Gavin, Baldemar Lopez and Carol Rauschenberger.

Dixon has indicated he is running for reelection, while the other three had not made their decisions known as of last week.

Of the four early filers, Ortiz, Thoren and Good have all previously run for city council. Johnson has run for state representative.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Naperville

One incumbent and six newcomers have filed candidate petitions so far in hopes of filling the four open seats on the Naperville City Council.

Councilman John Krummen, who has served since 2015, is seeking reelection to a 4-year term. The longtime resident previously held positions on multiple boards and commissions in the city.

Many of the residents who filed petitions Monday are no strangers to civic and community involvement.

Former Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Jennifer Bruzan Taylor recently organized the grass-roots "Opt Out" movement against allowing recreational marijuana sales in Naperville, while U.S. Navy Reserve retiree Jim Haselhorst, a 2015 mayoral candidate, led the opposing "Opt In" efforts.

Also seeking election to the city council are Naperville Unit District 203 board member Paul Leong, community member Allison Longenbaugh, Sister Cities Commission member Vasavi Chakka, and attorney Ian Holzhauer, chairman of the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce board.

Incumbent Kevin Coyne, who recently lost a bid for a DuPage County Board seat, announced last week he will not be seeking reelection to the Naperville council.

Terms also are expiring for council members Benny White and Judith Brodhead, who has reached her term limit and will not run again.

Downers Grove

Four candidates have filed nominating petitions for three available seats on the Downers Grove village council.

Margaret "Marge" Earl, who was first appointed as a commissioner in 2016, is the only incumbent to file so far.

The other candidates who filed petitions Monday include Danny Glover, owner of Skuddlebutts Pizza & Catering, as well as residents Andrew Pelloso and Chris Gilmartin.

Commissioner Greg Hose announced on Facebook earlier this month that he intends to seek reelection. Commissioner Cavanaugh Gray's term also is expiring.

Wheaton

Four city council seats representing Wheaton's four voting districts are on the ballot.

In the south district, Bill Nieman filed his paperwork in order to claim the first spot on the ballot, followed by Mark Yetsky.

Lynn Robbins, who in 2019 was appointed to a 2-year term representing the west district, filed to retain the seat.

Scott A. Brown has filed to run for the north district seat.

Incumbents Mike Barbier and Christopher Zaruba as well as five other residents -- George Nieman, Scott Weller, David Diersen, Gabrielle Reczek and Stanley Garrett -- have picked up nominating packets from the city clerk's office but had not yet filed as of Monday afternoon.

North Aurora

Three trustee candidates have filed petitions in North Aurora. They are incumbent Michael Lowery, Carolyn Bird-Salazar and Todd Niewdzwiedz.

Mark Gaffino filed for election as village president. Gaffino has been a trustee since 2005. The current president, Dale Berman, won't seek reelection. He was elected this month to serve on the Kane County Board.

Campton Hills

Three people have turned in nominating petitions for three seats on the village board in Campton Hills. Two are incumbents: Michael Millette and James McKelvie. The third is Ed Muncie.

• Daily Herald staff writers Lauren Rohr, Rick West and Susan Sarkauskas contributed to this report

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