Dozens of McHenry County candidates line up to file for 2022 election
McHenry County political candidates lined up Monday morning outside the county clerk's office for their chance to have their name first on the ballot.
Dozens stood in a line outside the office before its 8 a.m. opening, with the first, sheriff candidate Tony Colatorti, saying he arrived around 6 a.m. His first time running for office, Colatorti said showing up that early shows his determination and will.
"I wanted to get here first," he said. "I'm proud of what I'm doing, and I'm here for the people."
His opponent, Robb Tadelman, the county's undersheriff, also was toward the front of the line. Tadelman said he enjoys the challenge of competing for the position of sheriff.
"I'm an old-school athlete, so I like a little bit of competition," he said.
Candidates in line when the clerk's office opened will get to have their name first on the ballot. For races where multiple competitors showed up, a lottery will take place on March 17 to determine the order.
The entire McHenry County Board, along with a handful of countywide positions and state offices, will be on the ballot this year. The county board will look much different after the upcoming election, as all 24 seats are up for election. After November, only 18 seats will remain.
Meanwhile, the primary has been pushed back to June 28. It shrank the window of campaigning for the general election in November, County Clerk Joe Tirio said.
"We've got a compressed election cycle," Tirio said. "We really have some tight timeframes."
McHenry County Board
County board member Michael Vijuk, D-Cary, who currently represents District 1, is seeking another term on the board. But he said this is his third time running for a public office.
"I feel more experienced," he said. "I think the level of anxiousness is maybe slightly less."
Carl Kamienski, a Republican challenger running for a District 6 seat, said he was inspired to run by Chuck Wheeler, a board member who died in 2020, and state Sen. Craig Wilcox, who previously ran for the county board before being appointed to his current role.
"Seeing what's going on in the county board, here's a chance to continue (Wilcox and Wheeler's) work," he said.
Thomas Pavelka, a challenger for District 2 of the county board, was passed up twice for an appointment to the board, despite having been the Democrats' top choice to fill two separate seats. Now he's taking it into his own hands, he said.
County board member John Collins, D-Crystal Lake, was one of those appointed instead of Pavelka. He said Monday it feels different knowing it's no longer about just those with the power to appoint. Now, it comes down to being validated by the county's voters, he said.
John Reinert, a former board member who lost out in the previous election, is running again to try and win back his seat. He said he thinks people are seeking more of a conservative set of values on the board.
Andrew Georgi is running to unseat Tirio for county clerk in his second go at the office. Georgi was previously a village trustee in Hebron. He also ran for a county board seat in the past. He said he doesn't think the clerk position should be partisan.
"This time I have a primary challenger, so that's a little different," he said.
Diana Hartmann, the county's current regional superintendent, was appointed to her role in January, but she will have to fight to keep her seat this year.
Hartmann said she has never run for public office, having only been a teacher and administrator in school districts. In deciding to go for the job, she said she felt somebody needed to step up and work on the issues she said had cropped up in public education.
"The office needs to be cleaned up and cleaned out and more services brought to the office," she said.