More than 250 candidates are going to be on McHenry County ballots in the coming months after the filing period for this year’s election cycle across Illinois closed Monday.
With the candidates filed, McHenry County voters will see seven competitive Democratic and 20 competitive Republican races during the June primary. A lottery on March 17 will determine who will appear at the top and the bottom of the ballot where multiple people filed for the same race at the same time.
McHenry County Board
This is a hallmark year for the McHenry County Board, which will see its 24 seats reduced to 18, as well as an increase in its total districts, from four representatives each in six districts to two members each across nine districts.
In the primary for the County Board, each party for each district will be able to send two candidates to the general election.
The McHenry County Board will see a competitive Democratic primary for District 2 – which includes all or part of Crystal Lake, Lake in the Hills and Lakewood – where three Democrats face off for two spots on November’s ticket.
Competitive Republican primaries are on track for districts 3, 4, 5 and 6.
Incumbent Bob Nowak, Eric Hendricks and Bob Reining have all run in the newly redrawn District 3, which includes all or part of Crystal Lake, Lake in the Hills, Algonquin and Lakewood. Four Republicans – incumbent Joe Gottemoller and newcomers Paul Barthel, Mike “Shorty” Shorten, and Suzanne Delaney – are vying for two slots in District 4, which includes parts of Crystal Lake, Woodstock, Prairie Grove and Bull Valley.
In District 5, incumbent Stephen Doherty and newcomers Terri Greeno and Justin Franzke are also facing off for two spots on the November ballot. The district runs from McHenry in the north along the eastern edge of McHenry County through Holiday Hills, Prairie Grove, Island Lake, Oakwood Hills, Port Barrington and Cary, ending at Three Oaks Road.
District 6 will also see three Republicans running for two spots – incumbent Pamela Althoff and challengers Carl Kamienski and Erik John Sivertsen. The district starts in the northeast corner of McHenry County, running south through Fox Lake, Spring Grove, Johnsburg, McCullom Lake and McHenry.
In District 9, former County Board member Jessica Phillips, who stepped down last year because of an out-of-district move, filed to run and will be the lone Democrat in the race. She will face Republican incumbents James Kearns and Mike Skala in November.
Of the current 24 County Board members, eight did not file by the end of Monday.
Those are Carolyn Schofield, R-Crystal Lake; Lori Parrish R-Crystal Lake; Tanya Jindrich, D-Crystal Lake; Kay Bates R-McHenry; Carlos Acosta, D-Woodstock; John Jung, R-Woodstock; Paula Yensen D-Lake in the Hills; and Michele Aavang, R-Woodstock.
Of that list, Schofield opted to run on a ticket for lieutenant governor as Paul Schimpf’s running mate. Acosta and Jung are running as committee people for a precinct within their party.
Acosta, who has worked with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, also has been charged in the 2018 case involving Crystal Lake boy AJ Freund, who was abused by his parents and then killed.
Yensen told the Northwest Herald Monday that after more than 20 years of serving in public office, which include both at the county level and in Lake in the Hills, she decided to retire and spend more time with her family.
It was COVID-19 that put it into perspective for her, she said. With her children living out of state, she said she would like to see them more often.
“This last time I saw my son it was the first time in two years,” she said. “[COVID-19] helped me order my priorities.”
Bates said Monday she is also not planning to run in order to spend time traveling and see friends and family.
Jendrich told the Northwest Herald Monday that the politics of the board have made her decide not to run. She cited what she called a “lack of moral leadership,” board members refusing to break party lines, and frivolous spending as the reasons why.
“I will continue to do what is right for our community and look forward to the day when our public servants act to serve others and not themselves,” she said.
County Board Chairman Mike Buehler, R-Crystal Lake, the lone County Board member who will not be on the ballot, said Monday afternoon he thinks it’s exciting that people are willing to step up and serve the community.
“As far as some of our more senior members leaving, this actually presents an opportunity for fresh insight and ideas from new board members potentially,” he said. “[I’m] just happy people are willing to get involved.”
Across the ballot
The sheriff’s race will not have a Democratic competitor come November, but two Republicans, Tony Colatorti and Robb Tadelman, are running in the primary.
Both men, who have law enforcement experience with Colatorti having been a police chief and Tadelman having served within the Sheriff’s Office for 18 years, have been engaged in what has become one of the more high-profile races in the county.
Whoever wins in June is on track to run unopposed in November and replace Sheriff Bill Prim, who opted not to run.
The race has seen one side’s signs vandalized, while both have received endorsements that have seemingly split major GOP members in the county. Despite this, both have said numerous times there are no hard feelings toward one another.
Other races include the county clerk, which has one Republican, incumbent Joe Tirio, and two Democrats, Drew Georgi and Mary Mahady. The two Democrats will face off in the primary for a spot in the general election against Tirio.
The county treasurer has three candidates, Democrat Amin Karim, Republican Donna Kurtz and Libertarian Jim Young. None of the three will have a primary challenger.
The regional superintendent of schools has just one candidate running. Republican Diana Hartmann, the current regional superintendent, is running unopposed so far. Hartmann has been in her role since January.
At the state level, the 26th, 32nd, 33rd and 35th districts for the State Senate will be on the ballot in November for the area.
Of those, just the 35th district will be competitive in the primary. State Sen. Dave Syverson, R-Rockford, will compete against challenger Eli Nicolosi, who filed on the last day. The 26th district will see state Sen. Dan McConchie, R-Lake Zurich, go against Democrat Maria Peterson in November.
For the Illinois House of Representatives, the 66th District will see Republicans Arin Thrower and Connie Cain compete in the primary. Whoever wins will face state Rep. Suzanne Ness, D-Crystal Lake, a former McHenry County Board member.
Other House districts up on track to see competition come November include the 52nd, 63rd, 64th, 69th and 70th.
In the 52nd district, state Rep. Martin McLaughlin, R-Barrington Hills, will face Democrat Mary Morgan in November. Incumbent Steven Reick, R-Woodstock, in the 63rd District will face Democrat Brian Meyers, and state Rep. Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford, will face Democrat Peter Janko.
A vacancy on the Illinois Second District Appellate Court has four people running, including three Democrats. They are Democrats Erin Cartwright Weinstein, Michael Cortina and Chris Kennedy. Whoever wins will face the lone Republican in the race, Susan Clancy Boles.
They will replace Judge Michael Burke, who was appointed to the State Supreme Court to fill the vacancy left by Judge Robert Thomas. Burke will run in District 3 come November, leaving Thomas’ vacancy open.
That race to fill that seat has seven candidates, including four Republicans and three Democrats. The candidates include Republicans Susan Hutchinson, Daniel Shanes, Mark Curran and John Noverini and Democrats Nancy Rotering, Rene Cruz and Liz Rochford.