DuPage mayoral races to watch in Tuesday's election
Voters across DuPage County on Tuesday will cast ballots jam-packed with candidates for the top office in municipal government.
Of the 26 mayoral or village president seats up for election, 14 are contested.
Here's a look at some of the marquee races:
Voters will settle a hard-fought contest between current and former trustees for the village president post.
The Civic Betterment Party, a historically dominant force in Glen Ellyn elections, is throwing its weight behind nominee Mark Senak, now in his second term on the village board. His opponent, Pete Ladesic, is challenging the party's influence by running as an independent.
Development issues have been at the forefront of the race.
In his vision for the downtown, Senak, who opposed the Apex 400 apartment building now under construction, has called for a spectrum of affordable housing and "smart development" that retains the area's architectural style. The attorney supports using tax incentives to spur developers to design projects that retain the downtown's historic character.
Senak also wants to create downtown green space that could be used for festivals and other events.
Ladesic, who served three board terms, is looking to recapture some of the vitality he remembers from growing up in Glen Ellyn. During campaign forums, the homebuilder has stressed the importance of respecting the historical past but embracing the future and diversifying the village's housing stock through rezoning.
Development near transit, he says, lags behind Glen Ellyn's counterparts. Ladesic also has been a proponent of a vehicle underpass in the central business district to address public safety and the economic disruptions of crossing closures.
Two challengers are taking on Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin, saying they disagree with the incumbent's leadership style and believe the city needs a new direction.
Development has been a top priority for the first-term mayor, who says his administration has been able to spur growth and revitalize properties in the city's downtown and beyond through the creation of an economic team, the use of incentives and other mechanisms.
But challengers Judd Lofchie, a 10th Ward alderman, and John Laesch, a former East Aurora Unit District 131 school board member, say they believe the city can do better and take a new approach to boost the local economy.
Lofchie, a lawyer and real estate broker who calls himself a "pro-development alderman," accused Irvin of being too selective toward certain businesses and projects. He encouraged flexibility in zoning regulations and said he would "bend over backward" to get businesses open.
Laesch, a union carpenter and community activist, touted the economic and environmental benefits of transforming Aurora into an energy-efficient city. His campaign centers around the green building movement and policies that would promote sustainability.
In one of DuPage County's most heated mayoral races, first-term incumbent Christopher Pecak faces challenges from two sitting trustees, Sara Sadat and Stephen Winz.
Sadat and Winz supported recreational marijuana sales to bring new revenue to Lisle, but the board ultimately opted out of legal sales. Pecak has said a referendum question is the only way to gauge community sentiment on the issue.
Lombard Village President Keith Giagnorio is locked in a tough reelection fight against sitting Trustee Reid Foltyniewicz in his bid for a third term as the Lilac Village leader.
In Elmhurst, Mayor Steve Morley is stepping down after his second term, leading to a mayoral field of three aldermen: Michael Bram, Scott Levin and Mark Mulliner.
• Daily Herald staff writer Lauren Rohr contributed to this report.