DuPage County Board member Amy Chavez announced she’s resigning from her seat, setting up a tight schedule for the local Democratic Party to fill her spot on the November election ballot and get a successor’s campaign off the ground.
In a letter to County Board Chairman Dan Cronin, Chavez, a first-term Democrat from Naperville, said she plans to step down Aug. 16.
“It has been an honor to serve the people of DuPage County, but an opportunity out of state that we could not pass up has arisen for my husband’s career,” Chavez wrote. “My family is looking forward to exploring this new chapter, however, it means that I have to end my term of service.”
With her victory in 2020, Chavez helped Democrats take control of the board for the first time since the Great Depression, ending generations of Republican dominance in DuPage. Democrats now hold 11 of the 18 board seats.
The party faces a tougher task to retain control of the board with every seat up for election in what could be a challenging midterm year for national Democrats. Chavez joins two other Democratic incumbents – Julie Renehan and Ashley Selmon – in deciding not to seek reelection to the county board.
In the primary, Chavez, Sadia Covert and Dawn DeSart were spared an intraparty fight for their District 5 seats representing the southwestern portion of DuPage.
Another Democrat now must be chosen to run in Chavez’s place in the general election.
The DuPage Democratic organization will have until Aug. 31 to fill the vacancy in nomination for the November ballot, said Matt Dietrich, spokesman for the Illinois State Board of Elections.
The Democratic Party of DuPage County will be forming a slating committee involving the township organizations that Chavez served to find a replacement candidate, Executive Director Anne Sommerkamp said.
“I feel that we would be able to slate a candidate that can win,” Sommerkamp said.
Cronin, with the advice and consent of the county board, will appoint someone to finish the remainder of Chavez’s term, which ends in December. Under state election law, a new board member must be appointed within 60 days of her resignation and must be from the same political party.
“As economic development committee chair, member Chavez has been a strong advocate for the DuPage County business community,” Cronin said in a statement. “Her thoughtful approach and dedication to the residents of District 5 is to be commended. We thank member Chavez for her service and wish her and her family well.”
The GOP contenders for the three District 5 seats are Richard Janor, a Naperville Park District commissioner; Janice Anderson, a former county board member from Naperville; and Patricia “Patty” Gustin, a sitting Naperville city councilwoman.
District 5 covers parts of Aurora, Naperville, Warrenville, Lisle and Woodridge.