Republicans running for McHenry County Board's District 3 all agree on keeping taxes low

  • The Republican candidates running for the McHenry County Board in District 3 are, from left to right, Eric Hendricks, Bob Reining and Bob Nowak.

    The Republican candidates running for the McHenry County Board in District 3 are, from left to right, Eric Hendricks, Bob Reining and Bob Nowak.

 
 
Updated 4/18/2022 12:22 PM

The race to represent District 3 on the McHenry County Board features three Republican candidates -- an incumbent, an auto mechanic, and an attorney.

Bob Nowak, Bob Reining and Eric Hendricks are running in District 3's Republican primary. The district includes parts of Algonquin, Lake in the Hills, Crystal Lake and Lakewood.

 

The county board districts were redrawn as part of the decennial redistricting process. And to reduce the size of the board, the six four-member districts became nine districts with two members each.

Thirty-six candidates have filed to run for county board, with four running in District 3. Of the three Republican candidates, only two will make it past June's primary.

The other candidate, Democrat Carolyn Campbell, serves as a county board member in District 3.

Issues

Taxes are a focus for all three GOP candidates.

Nowak, who currently represents District 1 on the county board, said his main concern is keeping flat or reducing property tax rates. He said there have been no inflationary increases in the property tax levy, just new growth, during his tenure on the board.

"We've saved taxpayers a ton of money," Nowak said. "I've tried to help keep budgets tight and move forward."

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Nowak said the county ought to be run "like any household" and look at how to work with what they have financially and not burden residents.

Reining described taxes as "a big issue" and said he thinks many businesses were leaving the county and the state because of high taxes.

Reining has also raised "individual choice" on masking and vaccinations as an issue on his Facebook page and said he was a proud supporter of first responders.

Hendricks says he will try to find ways to reduce taxes and not increase county spending.

"Everyone is able to balance their own checkbook and live within their means," Hendricks said. "Governments don't always adhere to the same principle. They spend first and figure out where they will get it later."

Hendricks noted that keeping taxes flat was effectively a tax cut when inflation was accounted for.

Background

Nowak has been on the county board since 2010. He spent 22 years as the director of building, planning and zoning for Cary and was a homebuilder before that. He and his family lived in Cary from 1986 to 2009, when they moved to Algonquin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"I really enjoy talking to new people," Nowak said of his plans to campaign in the district. "That's why I'm in politics."

Reining, a Lake in the Hills resident and auto mechanic, said he was motivated to enter politics after the past two years and the impacts of the pandemic.

"It made me want to stand up and do something," Reining said, who said he was hoping to bring strong conservative leadership to the community.

Reining described himself first and foremost as a "citizen" and that he's been enjoying the meet-and-greets, such as an event Thursday at the Chubby Bullfrog Bar and Grill in West Dundee, as a way to talk to people and learn about their concerns.

Hendricks, who grew up in Elgin, is an associate attorney at Franks, Gerkin, Ponitz & Greeley law firm in Marengo.

"I've always been interested in politics," Hendricks said. "It seemed like a good year for me too, instead of complaining about politics, to actually get involved in it."

Hendricks, 31, says his identity as a millennial and strong conservative makes him something of an outlier in the race.

"It would be good to have a younger individual on the board, but still someone who is focused on traditional, fiscally conservative stances," Hendricks said.

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