Republicans seek nomination in four contested races for Kane County Board seats

  • Brian K. Jones

    Brian K. Jones

  • Kenneth Shepro

    Kenneth Shepro

  • Todd Wallace

    Todd Wallace

  • Barb Wojnicki

    Barb Wojnicki

  • Anthony Catella

    Anthony Catella

 
Updated 6/23/2022 2:58 PM

There are contested Republican primary races in four Kane County Board districts.

Kane County GOP Chairman Ken Shepro, who represents District 12 on the county board, faces a Republican challenger in his bid for a second term. Other Republicans are vying for their party's nomination in districts 11, 13 and 15.

 

Here's a look at how the contested Republican races are shaping up:

District 11

Geneva resident and Chicago attorney Brian K. Jones is seeking the party's nomination in District 11. Incumbent John Martin, also a Republican, is not seeking reelection.

Jonathan Bretz initially sought the nomination. But on Tuesday, the Geneva resident said he no longer is campaigning for the seat. However, his decision came after early voting started, and his name remains on the ballot.

"I stopped campaigning about a month ago," Bretz said in a text, adding that he reached out to Jones and supports Jones' candidacy. "A good life change happened, and I no longer have the bandwidth to pursue becoming a Kane County Board member."

In a candidate questionnaire, Jones said he would like to help facilitate the sale and redevelopment of the property off Fabyan Parkway that once housed the Kane County sheriff's office and jail. Jones also said he believed it was important to work to maintain a balance between spending and taxes.

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"My priority will be to control government spending and taxes while maintaining our quality of life in Kane County," said Jones, who has served as a member of the Geneva Police and Fire Board.

Leslie Juby and Walter Lindwall are seeking the Democrat nomination. The primary winners will face off in November.

District 12

Wayne resident Ken Shepro is seeking a second term to represent the residents of District 12. St. Charles resident Bill Roth is challenging Shepro in the Republican primary.

The winner will face Democrat Steve Bruesewitz in the November election.

Shepro served as county board attorney for eight years and as a 20-year member of the Kane County Regional Planning Commission. He has also served as a special assistant state's attorney and as the Wayne village attorney. He points to the recent county board map redraw as one of his most significant contributions.

"I was a leader in redistricting of the board, which is required every 10 years. I am very proud of the plan that was unanimously accepted by the county board," Shepro said. "And unlike the Springfield redistricting -- which were heavily partisan and disregarded almost every principle of sound districting -- our map was fair to all sides, to all parties, to all municipalities."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Shepro has been a fiscal conservative on the county board and helped lead efforts that ultimately killed a proposal to raise the county's gas tax. In his candidate questionnaire, Shepro points to county finances as one of the driving forces in his decision to seek reelection.

In an endorsement interview with the Daily Herald, Roth said he is running because he wants improved communication from the county board.

"The only time it seems like I hear from Kane County is when I get my tax bill," Roth said. "I believe in fiscal discipline. We need to be more efficient in how we run government. And part of my experience in ... consulting in IT in business has been efficiencies ... I don't think government does that very well at times, and we need to do that."

Shepro rebuffed the criticism, pointing to the county's newsletter and noting that residents can watch meetings live or on video.

District 13

St. Charles residents Todd Wallace, Stephen Brown and Anthony Catella are running in the Republican primary in District 13.

The winner of the June 28 primary will face Michael Linder in the November general election.

Wallace, an attorney, was appointed to the county board in July. He also has served as a member of the St. Charles plan commission and a St. Charles Township trustee.

Wallace, who calls himself a fiscal conservative and social libertarian, favors cuts in spending and limiting government involvement in private business.

"I am absolutely, unequivocally against increasing taxes," Wallace said in a candidate questionnaire.

Brown, a private attorney who previously worked for the Kane County state's attorney's office for 15 years, argued the county's finances have worsened over the past two years. Brown said former county board chairman, Chris Lauzen, worked to cut public debt and address the county's pension obligations.

"The last two years have not seen the same commitment to spending restraint," Brown said. "Kane County has always been fiscally responsible and it is one of the major reasons why people want to move here rather than to move away from here."

Catella did not submit a candidate questionnaire.

District 15

Longtime county board member Barb Wojnicki of Campton Hills is seeking a sixth term. Elgin resident David Young is challenging Wojnicki in the Republican primary.

The winner of the primary will face Democrat Scott Johansen in the November election.

Young did not fill out a candidate questionnaire.

Wojnicki has served as chairman of the county board's energy and environment committee for 12 years and vice chairman of the development committee for eight years. She also has served as chairman of the Kane County Farmland Protection Committee and notes the county has preserved 4,900 acres of farmland as a result of the committee's efforts.

During the campaign, Wojnicki said she did not support the creation of a countywide retail sales tax or an increase in the county gas tax.

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