With social distancing in place, Northwest suburban candidate filing begins for April 2021 elections
Last month's presidential contest may still seem fresh in everyone's minds, but candidates for a bevy of Northwest suburban political offices already are looking ahead to the April 2021 consolidated election.
Monday was the first day for folks seeking seats on most municipal boards -- as well as school district, library district, park district and township boards -- to file nominating petitions. Not surprisingly, many did.
The races for municipal offices in Wheeling will be crowded.
Six trustee candidates filed for three board seats: incumbents Mary Papantos, Mary Krueger and Jim Ruffatto, and challengers Donald Lee Waller, Laura Alicia Rodriguez and Kimberly Anne Scanlon.
Incumbent Village President Patrick Horcher filed to seek reelection and will be challenged by newcomer Steven Mark Smith.
Two village clerk candidates filed: Deborah L. Acevedo and Kathryn M. Brady. Clerk Elaine Simpson isn't seeking reelection.
Des Plaines will have several ballot showdowns, too.
Eighth Ward Alderman Andrew Goczkowski and former 8th Ward Alderman Michael Charewicz submitted petitions to succeed Matthew Bogusz as mayor. Term limits prevent Bogusz from running again.
Five candidates filed for the 3rd Ward seat held by Denise Rodd, who also can't run again because of term limits. They are Eugene Fregetto, Shawn T. Killian, Norbert J. Paprocki, Sean Oskerka and Robert K. Suriano.
And in Des Plaines' 5th Ward, Jennifer Nutley will challenge incumbent Carla Brookman.
Two candidates, Justin Cochran and Jessica M. Mastalski, filed to run for city clerk.
Incumbent Mark Lysakowski filed for the 1st Ward post. Patricia L. Smith filed for the 7th Ward post.
Arlington Heights Mayor Tom Hayes filed papers to seek a third term. Six candidates filed for four village board positions: incumbents Jim Tinaglia and Richard Baldino, and newcomers Jim Bertucci, Will Beiersdorf, Wendy Dunnington and Nicolle Grasse.
In Buffalo Grove, incumbent trustees Andrew Stein, Lester Ottenheimer III and Joanne Johnson filed for reelection.
Former village trustee Michael Terson filed petitions to seek one of the three board seeks at stake in the April election. He unsuccessfully ran for village president last year, losing to Beverly Sussman.
Terson said he intends to run for president again in two years.
"I think it would make sense to go into that role with ... two years' experience, if I can," he said.
In Rolling Meadows, after the Nov. 24 resignation of longtime Ward 1 Alderman Mike Cannon, two candidates filed Monday to fill the remaining two years on his term: Karen McHale and two-time mayoral candidate Dave Whitney. Mayor Joe Gallo has nominated McHale to fill the seat until the spring; a confirmation vote is scheduled for Tuesday's council meeting.
In Ward 4, Jenifer Vinezeano will be challenged by former Alderman Brad Judd. Incumbent Nick Budmats filed in Ward 2.
In Bartlett, five people filed for three board seats with 4-year terms: incumbents Vince Carbonaro, Aaron Reinke and Stephanie Z. Gandsey, and challengers Theresa Materna and Daniel H. Gunsteen.
Trustee Renee Suwanski filed for a board seat with a 2-year term.
Village President Kevin Wallace and Clerk Lorna Giless filed to retain their posts, too.
Despite his recent election to the state House, Brad Stephens will seek another term as Rosemont's mayor. Trustees Roger Minale, Harry Pappas and Ralph Dimatteo filed for their seats, too.
In Elk Grove Village, Mayor Craig Johnson filed petitions for a seventh term. Trustees Pat Feichter, Chris Prochno and Jeff Franke submitted papers for board seats, too.
In Barrington, a slate of incumbent candidates led by Village President Karen Darch filed to run under the "Barrington Forward" banner.
Darch, seeking her fifth term, was joined by Clerk Tony Ciganek and Trustees Jennifer Wondrasek, Todd Sholeen and Mike Moran.
In Streamwood, Village President Billie Roth filed for reelection, as did Clerk Kittie Kopitke and trustees Michael Baumer and Bill Harper. They were joined by Razwanul Haque, who'd ran unsuccessfully for a four-year trustee term in 2019 and a two-year trustee term in 2017.
All those who filed in Hanover Park had previously announced their candidacies. These included incumbent Rod Craig for village president, Kristy Merrill for village clerk, incumbents Bob Prigge and Sharmin Shahjahan, and newcomers Tonya Frosheiser, Syed Hussaini and Yasmeen Bankole for three, four-year trustee terms, and incumbent Liza Gutierrez for the one two-year trustee term.
Candidates for all boards except school boards filed petitions at the local offices Monday. School board petitions are delivered to county clerks.
The Cook County clerk's office opened several satellite offices Monday -- and only Monday -- to accommodate the anticipated surge in filings. One was set up at the Old Orchard Country Club in Mount Prospect, where dozens of candidates gathered before filing started at 8 a.m., each wearing masks to prevent spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Early candidates were given numbers and asked to take spaced-apart seats in a ballroom until they were called to file their papers.
Election Day is April 6. Petition filing ends Dec. 21.
Some communities can have primary elections Feb. 23 before any April 6 showdowns. Filing for those contests occurred late last month in places such as Palatine, where incumbents Mayor Jim Schwantz, Village Clerk Marg Duer, District 1 Councilman Tim Millar, District 4 Councilman Greg Solberg and District 6 Councilman Brad Helms all filed for reelection.
• Daily Herald staff writers Elena Ferrarin, Charles Keeshan, Eric Peterson, Christopher Placek, Rick West and Steve Zalusky contributed to this report.