SYCAMORE – Responding to DeKalb County Coroner Dennis Miller’s decision to not seek reelection, DeKalb County Deputy Coroner Linda Besler announced Tuesday she plans to run as Miller’s successor in 2024.
According to a news release, Besler has worked as deputy coroner and executive secretary for the past three years in Miller’s office. Miller held the same position before he took office in 1984. Besler said Miller inspired her to run for the open position.
“Dennis Miller’s shoes are indeed big shoes to fill but I have decided to run for Coroner in the upcoming 2024 [general election] in no small part because of his encouragement and confidence in my ability to do the job. My time in the office has been intense and I have learned the role of coroner from one of the best,” Besler said in the release.
Tuesday morning, Miller announced he would end his four-decade stint as DeKalb County coroner in 2024, deciding not to seek reelection. Miller’s office plays an active role in DeKalb County’s criminal justice system.
According DeKalb County documents, the DeKalb County coroner works to establish the cause of death for all sudden deaths in the county that appear to be accidental, homicidal or suicidal. Additionally, the coroner will fill in for the DeKalb County Sheriff if the office becomes vacant. Miller served in such a capacity before longtime, now retired DeKalb County Sheriff Roger Scott held office.
“The coroner’s office plays a critical role in the criminal justice system and knowledge of the procedures with which we deal with crime scenes is critical to the system. That is why I am proud to have the support of many in law enforcement including our Sheriff Andrew Sullivan and our State’s Attorney Richard Amato. I will continue to work with them to refine our procedures and fulfill our critical role,” Besler said.
Besler said she’s already working hard to secure the paperwork needed to ensure she makes it on the ballot. She said she’s also already listed her committee with the Illinois State Board of Elections. The candidate filing period doesn’t open until Nov. 27, according to the Illinois State Board of Elections, however, petitions to collect voter signatures could begin to circulate Sept. 5.
“In the coming months I will be gathering petitions and continuing to gather support for my campaign. My plan is to work hard to show voters that I am the best candidate for this office and let them decide who they want to choose,” Besler said. “I am encouraged by the support and confidence of those current and former elected officials, fire, and police who have lent their names to my candidacy.”
This article was updated at 6:03 p.m. Sept. 20, 2023 to correct an earlier version which misstated the number of years Dennis Miller has served as DeKalb County Coroner. Miller’s term will end a four-decade run in the elected office.