Oswego primary election is uncharted territory for Kendall County Clerk

Kendall County Clerk Debbie Gillette is seen here in her office on Nov. 15, 2022.

Oswego Republicans have presented long-serving Kendall County Clerk Debbie Gillette with a new challenge.

That will be for her to stage a winter partisan primary election ahead of the spring consolidated balloting for municipal offices.

With two Republicans vying for Oswego Village Board president and six members of the GOP filing for three available trustee seats on the board, it appears there will be Feb. 28 primary election.

“There’s a lot we have to look into,” Gillette said. “We’re not sure how many polling places we’re going to need.”

Gillette is not yet certain of the cost either, but knows it will be considerable. Polling places, election judges, staff time and other expenses will go into conducting the primary.

Turnout for consolidated elections, which include municipal, school, park and library races, is always notoriously low, and Gillette said that for a consolidated primary it is expected to be even less.

Beginning with the 2017 consolidated election, some candidates for Oswego village offices began attaching the Republican label to their names on the ballot.

“We wouldn’t need this primary if they all ran as independents like they did in the past,” Gillette said.

Oswego Village Board President Troy Parlier is being challenged in his reelection bid by Brian Thomas. Both men filed as Republicans. The primary winner will face Democrat Ryan Kauffman, a former trustee, in the April 4 general election.

Meanwhile, incumbent trustees filing to run as Republicans were James T. Marter II and Terry Olson. Also filing under the GOP banner were Robert Lockwood, Michael J. Wirtz, Sarah Zemeda and Jason Kapus.

The top three vote-getters in the Republican primary with face off against the three candidates for trustee who filed as Democrats, including Karin McCarthy-Lange, Luis Perez and Andrew Torres.

McCarthy-Lange and Perez both previously served on the board.