February 21, 2024
Election


Election

The election is Tuesday. Here’s who’s on the ballot in McHenry County

Voting stickers await voters at the ballot drop box on election day at the McHenry County Administrative Building on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 in Woodstock.

The race for Illinois governor won’t be the only one on Tuesday’s ballot.

With the redrawing of the state’s political maps, the makeup of the entire McHenry County Board, the Illinois General Assembly and the U.S. House of Representatives will be determined, along with multiple county and statewide races.

The County Board was redrawn after the decennial redistricting process, during which the board’s membership shrunk from 24 members to 18. Voters now fall into nine districts and get to select their two picks for the board.

Redistricting divided McHenry County into four congressional districts instead of two, and state legislative boundaries also were remade.

All McHenry County voters will get the chance to weigh in on a state constitutional amendment on workers’ rights to unionize, and Alden-Hebron School District 19 residents will be asked to vote on a $15.9 million bond referendum for building needs, while Dunham Township voters will be asked about $1 million in bonds for road improvements.

These are the competitive races appearing on McHenry County ballots.

McHenry County Board

Five people are running for the two open District 1 seats, which covers Cary, Fox River Grove and part of Algonquin. They include Republicans Matthew Kunkle and incumbent Tom Wilbeck, Democratic incumbents Michael Vijuk and Theresa Meshes, and Libertarian Kenneth Martin Mattes.

Five people also are vying for two open District 2 seats. Democrats John Collins, an incumbent, and Gloria Van Hof; Republicans Jeff Thorsen, an incumbent, and John Reinert; and Libertarian Jake Justen. All of the candidates live in Crystal Lake.

There are three candidates in District 3, which covers parts of Algonquin, Lake in the Hills, Crystal Lake and Lakewood. Republicans Bob Nowak and Eric Hendricks are facing off against Democrat Carolyn Campbell. Both Campbell and Nowak currently are on the board.

Four candidates are running for the two open District 4 seats. Incumbent Joe Gottemoller, now serving District 3, is joined by fellow Republican Mike “Shorty” Shorten, and Democrats Laura McGowen and Dominic Petrucci. All four candidates live in Crystal Lake.

In District 5, two Republicans and a Democrat are running. Republican Stephen Doherty and Democrat Kelli Wegener are trying to stay on the board, while Republican candidate Terri Greeno is looking to take one of the seats. The district includes all or parts of Cary, Holiday Hills, Lakemoor, McHenry, Oakwood Hills, Port Barrington and Prairie Grove.

The race for two seats in District 6 includes one incumbent, Republican Pamela Althoff, and two newcomers, Republican Carl Kamienski and Democrat Cece Adams. District 6 includes Fox Lake, Spring Grove, McHenry, Ringwood, McCullom Lake, Lakemoor and Johnsburg.

One incumbent, Republican Jeffrey Schwartz, a business owner who has been on the board since 2021, is running in District 7. Two others, Democrat Lou Ness and Republican Brian Sager, are running as well. District 7 includes all or parts of Woodstock, Wonder Lake, McHenry, Bull Valley and Greenwood.

Two Republican incumbents, Larry Smith and Tracie Von Bergen, are facing Democratic challenger Jack Kaskel in District 8, which includes all or parts of Richmond, Hebron, Harvard and Marengo.

District 9 features three candidates who all have experience on the County Board. The two Republicans, Michael Skala and Jim Kearns, currently sit on the board, while Democrat Jessica Phillips resigned in 2021 after moving out of the district. District 9 includes all or parts of Marengo, Union, Huntley and Lake in the Hills, and much unincorporated area.

McHenry County clerk

Republican incumbent Joe Tirio faces off against Democrat Mary Mahady for the McHenry County clerk’s race.

The role of clerk now also encompasses the county recorder’s office. Tirio, of Woodstock, ran on a platform of combining the two offices and was elected to that combined clerk and recorder seat in 2018. The offices officially merged in 2020.

Mahady, of McHenry, is the former McHenry Township assessor. She criticized Tirio’s record as clerk and the role that position has in running elections in the county. Mahady pointed to errors made during local elections since Tirio took over the job.

McHenry County treasurer

Three candidates are facing off for the county’s treasurer role, and each of those candidates pointed to their finance and business experience for voters to consider: Democrat Amin Karim, Republican Donna Kurtz and Libertarian James S. “Jim” Young, all of Crystal Lake.

Karim holds a master’s degree in finance and has worked with large corporations, bank systems and international finance. Kurtz has a background in information technology and financial advising, was a stock broker and has corporate management experience. Young is a former chief financial officer at a medical company with a master’s degree in finances and accounting.

The current treasurer, Glenda Miller, is not running for reelection.

Congress

Incumbent Democrat Jan Schakowsky is being challenged by Republican Max Rice in the 9th Congressional District, which includes the southeast portion of McHenry County, including parts of Crystal Lake, Cary, Lake in the Hills, Algonquin and Fox River Grove.

Schakowsky, of Evanston, has held the office since 1999 and sat in the Illinois General Assembly before that. Rice worked in energy consultation, according to his campaign website.

In the 10th Congressional District, incumbent Democrat Brad Schneider faces Republican Joe Severino. The district includes the northeast corner of McHenry County, from just west of Hebron through Richmond, Wonder Lake, Spring Grove and Fox Lake.

Schneider, of Highland Park, has served in Congress for eight years after defeating and then losing and then defeating again Republican Bob Dold. Severino, of Lake Forest, is the founder and president of a private investment company.

In the 11th Congressional District, incumbent Democrat Bill Foster is being challenged by Woodstock Republican Catalina Lauf, who made an unsuccessful bid for Congress in 2020. The district stretches from McHenry County’s western edge to its eastern one, covering all or part of Crystal Lake, Woodstock, McHenry, Marengo and Huntley.

Foster, a physicist and businessman, has been in Congress since 2008. Before Lauf’s 2020 run, she was appointed by then-President Donald Trump to a position in the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Republican U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood is facing Democratic challenger Lisa Haderlein to represent Illinois’ 16th Congressional District, which stretches from the northern border of Illinois south past Peoria.

LaHood is an ardent supporter of Trump. He was a state senator from 2011 to 2015 and served as a state’s attorney. His father, Ray LaHood, also a Republican, served as the U.S. secretary of transportation under former President Barack Obama.

Haderlein is an alderwoman for the city of Harvard and the executive director of the Land Conservancy of McHenry County.

One of Illinois’ two U.S. Senate seats also is up for grabs. Incumbent Democrat Tammy Duckworth faces Republican Kathy Salvi and Libertarian Bill Redpath.

Duckworth, of Hoffman Estates, is a retired Army National Guard lieutenant colonel who is wrapping up her first six-year term in the Senate. Salvi, of Mundelein, is an attorney and former assistant public defender in Lake County. R

edpath, of West Dundee, is a previous Libertarian National Committee chairman and is managing director of the Chicago office of a financial consulting and valuation firm specializing in the satellite, telecom and media sectors.

Courts

Vying for the an open seat on the Illinois Supreme Court are former prosecutor and Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran, a Republican, and Lake County Judge Elizabeth Rochford, a Democrat.

Rochford has been a judge for the past 10 years. She has worked as a prosecutor and private attorney and served 23 years as commissioner of the Illinois Court of Claims. She serves on multiple advisory committees to the Illinois Supreme Court.

Curran also is a former congressional candidate, who has worked as the Lake County coroner, a prosecutor and defense attorney. He has served as an assistant attorney general in the Illinois Attorney General’s Office.

The seat the pair is competing for represents the 2nd District, which includes DeKalb, Kane, Kendall, Lake and McHenry counties.

Candidates running for the one open seat on the 2nd District Illinois Appellate Court are Lake County Judge Chris Kennedy, a Democrat, and Republican Kane County Judge Susan Clancy Boles.

Kennedy, appointed as an associate judge in 2020, has worked as a Lake County assistant state’s attorney and has had a private law firm. He served on the board of the Autism Society of Illinois and volunteered as its legislative director, lobbying for laws helping those with disabilities.

Boles has served as a judge in Kane County since 2007. She was appointed an associate judge in 2007 and appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to circuit court judge in 2008, then was elected in 2010 as a circuit court judge.

Two judges also are up for retention: Joe Birkett on the appellate court and James Cowlin at the McHenry County courthouse.

Birkett was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court in December 2010 and was subsequently elected to a full term in November 2012. His current term runs through December.

Cowlin has long served McHenry County as an attorney and judge. He was selected by the 22nd Judicial Circuit judges as chief judge in 2018. His term ended in 2021, and he now presides over a criminal courtroom.

State Legislature

In the 26th Senate District, Democratic challenger Maria Peterson is running against Republican state Sen. Dan McConchie, who is seeking a fourth term in the Senate.

Peterson is a former attorney who worked at the U.S. Department of Labor before moving to Barrington and starting a business there. McConchie spent nine years in the Army National Guard, before working in various advocacy positions, including with the anti-abortion organization Americans United for Life.

In the 32nd Senate District, Democratic challenger Elena Barbato is running against Republican state Sen. Craig Wilcox, who has been in the Senate since 2018.

Barbato is a Lake Villa trustee who also instructs crisis intervention training for police officers. Wilcox spent 24 years – 1989 to 2013 – in the U.S. Air Force, rising to the position of colonel and serving as commander of the 89th Airlift Support Group at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland.

In the 52nd House District, incumbent Republican Martin McLaughlin, R-Barrington Hills, is seeking his second term in the General Assembly. He is being challenged by Democrat Mary Morgan.

Before becoming a state representative, McLaughlin was a pension fund manager and the village president of Barrington Hills for eight years. Morgan spent several decades working in various marketing and management positions for Motorola and later the Brightstar Corp. before she took a job as an administrative assistant in the curriculum office in Wauconda School District 118 in 2021.

In the 63rd House District, Republican Steve Reick, R-Woodstock, is seeking a fourth term. He is being challenged by Democrat Brian Meyers of Crystal Lake.

Reick is a former attorney whose practice specialized in taxation and real estate and is one of the more senior members of the house minority caucus. Meyers is a retired Spanish and bilingual school teacher of 31 years who is running for elected office for the first time.

In the 64th House District, Republican Tom Weber, R-Lake Villa, who is seeking his second term in the General Assembly, is being challenged by Democrat Rick Konter of Ingleside.

Weber runs an independent construction company, Weber & Sons Construction, and was on the Lake County and Lake County Forest Preserve boards from 2012 until he won election to the statehouse in 2018. Konter is a retired farmer living in Ingleside who worked in a variety of roles, including as a carpenter, mechanic and small-business owner.

In the 66th House District, Democratic incumbent Suzanne Ness, D-Crystal Lake, is seeking a second term in office. She is being challenged by Republican Connie Cain of Gilberts.

Cain is a longtime accountant who served in the Army Reserves for eight years. Ness is a small-business owner who served on the McHenry County Board, representing District 2 from 2018 to 2020.

In the 69th House District, Republican incumbent Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford, seeking a sixth term in office, faces Democrat Peter Janko of Marengo.

Sosnowski is a former alderman first in DeKalb and then in Rockford, and a licensed real estate broker. Janko is a retired engineer who has served as a committeeman in the 14th, and currently 11th, Congressional Districts, and is originally from Germany.

Statewide

The race for governor and lieutenant governor pits incumbent Democrats JB Pritzker and Juliana Stratton against Republicans state Sen. Darren Bailey and former talk radio host Stephanie Trussell and Libertarians Scott Schluter and John Phillips.

Incumbent Attorney General Kwame Raoul faces Republican Thomas DeVore of Sorrento and Libertarian Daniel Robin.

There also is a three-way race for secretary of state, where longtime incumbent Jesse White is not seeking another term. The candidates include Libertarian Jon Stewart, Democrat Alexi Giannoulias and Republican Dan Brady.

Democratic incumbent Comptroller Susana Mendoza is being challenged by Libertarian Deirdre McCloskey and Republican Shannon Teresi, the current McHenry County auditor.

A Democratic incumbent also holds the state treasurer’s office. Michael Frerichs faces Republican Tom Demmer and Libertarian Preston Nelson.

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