January 29, 2023


Defeated Kane incumbent Shepro blasts Roth’s ‘campaign of character assassination,’ vows to run again in 2024

Roth: ’This all sounds like sour grapes to me’

Kane County Republican Party Chairman Ken Shepro

WAYNE – Incumbent Kane County Board member Kenneth Shepro, R-Wayne, who appears to have lost his Republican primary June 28 to Bill Roth in unofficial results, blasted his challenger for winning with “a campaign of character assassination” and declared he would run again.

“It’s a two-year term and at this point my intention is to get a head start and seek to be reelected in 2024,” Shepro said.

All Kane County Board seats were up for election following the 2020 census, with even-numbered districts being two-year terms and odd-numbered districts being four-year terms so the terms would be staggered going forward.

Shepro, of Wayne, and Roth, a St. Charles resident, were vying for the 12th District seat, which includes Wayne and parts of St. Charles and Geneva.

According to unofficial results, Roth had 930 votes to Shepro’s 720 votes, a difference of 210 votes.

“He won with a campaign of character assassination, false information and hid from any accountability or public discussion of his qualifications or his platform,” Shepro said. “He says in his mailing that it’s time for new ideas, but he didn’t propose a single one other than a general statement that the county needs to have more communication. … He avoided every opportunity to publicly discuss his positions or answer questions.”

A campaign mailer from Bill Roth in the GOP primary campaign for Kane County District 12. According to unofficial results, Roth defeated incumbent Ken Shepro. Shepro blasted Roth's campaign materials as 'a campaign of character assassination.'

In an email response, Roth wrote the primary is over and he is focused on the Nov. 8 general election.

“Politicians hate to lose their grip on power. This all sounds like sour grapes to me,” Roth’s email said.

“I took my campaign door to door and house to house,” Roth wrote. “My record of community involvement, work history and building personal relationships over the years with my neighbors, church and area businesses made this possible.”

Shepro also took to task the supposed involvement of former county board chairman Chris Lauzen, who was unopposed in the Republican primary in running for county treasurer.

“Mr. Lauzen basically recruited, financed and backed Mr. Roth and the avalanche of false information was late and effective and with no opportunity to really respond to it,” Shepro said. “The fact is, when you inundate voters with information that’s wrong, some of them are going to believe it. This was a good primer on how to run a stealth campaign successfully.”

Roth did not comment on whether Lauzen was involved in his campaign, and Lauzen did not respond to an emailed request for comment. Lauzen has barred a reporter from calling him, stating the only contact he would allow was through email.

Regarding 2016, when Lauzen defeated Shepro in the GOP primary for county board chairman, Shepro referred to Lauzen’s support of Roth as a kind of rematch.

“Mr. Lauzen is out for revenge and he won this round,” Shepro said.

Though mail-in ballots have until July 12 to be received and the official canvassing of primary votes is July 19, Shepro said he did not think there would be enough additional support for him to make a difference.

Barring any ballot upset via mail-in votes, Roth will face Democrat Stephen Bruesewitz in the Nov. 8 general election.

Brenda Schory

Brenda Schory

Brenda Schory covers Geneva, crime and courts, and features for the Kane County Chronicle