Election roundup: Contested races in the Sauk Valley

Community members will have several contested races for councils, schools boards and local leadership in the upcoming Tuesday election.

Here’s an overview of candidates and consolidated races in the Sauk Valley.

Dixon City Council

Four candidates are vying for two 4-year terms on the Dixon City Council.

Incumbents Ryan Marshall and Dennis Considine are looking to retain their seats against Chris Bishop and Ben Nagy. Candidate Seth Wiggins withdrew from the race, but his name will still be on the ballot.

Marshall owns The Stables bar in downtown Dixon and was elected to the council in 2017.

Considine, who’s retired after decades of working in local retail and beauty supply, also was elected in 2017 and served one term as commissioner under the city’s previous form of government.

Bishop, a teacher at Reagan Middle School and the head wrestling coach at Dixon High School, was elected to a 2-year term on the council in 2015. He decided not to run for re-election in 2017, but joined the Dixon Plan Commission in 2019.

Nagy is a financial service representative at Country Financial in Dixon and served a partial term on the Dixon Park Board from April 2015 to July 2016.

Dixon School Board

Seven candidates are competing for four seats on the Dixon School Board.

Board President Linda Wegner is the only incumbent looking to retain her seat. Board Vice President Kelly Flanagan, Secretary Brad Sibley and member JR Humphrey are not seeking re-election.

Wegner is running against Brandon Rogers, Donna Glover, Linda LeBlanc-Parks, Matt Appleman, Jon Wadsworth and Val Smith.

Wegner, a retired educator who spent 22 years teaching, was elected in 2017. Rogers, manager at Walgreens, was appointed to fill a partial term in 2017 and is president of the Dixon Rotary Club.

Glover has 25 years experience in banking, and LeBlanc-Parks is a retired special education educator with 30 years of experience.

Appleman is owner of Crescendo Hair in Dixon and has been involved with the LGBTQ+ organization Youth Outlook for 9 years.

Wadsworth is the IT manager at Beckers Group, and Smith is a member of the district’s Community Engagement Committee, as well as a classroom volunteer.

Sterling City Council

Three Sterling natives are competing for two, 4-year, at-large alderman spots on the City Council.

Kaitlyn Ekquist handles commerce and marketing for UOI in downtown Sterling, where she has worked for 8 years.

Jim Wise, 60, has been in various government positions for 25 years – as an alderman in Belvidere, a city administrator in Morrison, and village administrator in Cherry Valley – serving the last 4 years as alderman-at-large.

John Stauter is looking to land a third term on the council. He worked in management positions at Northwestern Steel and Wire for 35 years, a CPA at Winebaugh & Associates in Rochelle for two decades, served as President of the Sterling Kiwanis Club, and is a former chairman of the Sterling Plan Commission.

Sterling School Board

Two contested Sterling School Board races are being run this year, one to fill two full 4-year terms, and one to fill an unexpired 2-year term.

Three people are vying for the two 4-year seats: short-term incumbents Julie K. Aitken, a marketing account executive who’s served since August, and psychologist Savannah Mussington, who has a little less than 2 years on the board, face challenger Gonzalo Steven Reyes, who served 10 years on the board before quitting in 2001 to become a teacher at Challand Middle School. He is now retired.

Two men are competing for the board’s 2-year unexpired term.

Allen Przysucha, who has an eighth-grader at Challand Middle School and a 2019 Sterling High graduate, has coached kids sports and is a three-term president of the Sterling Noon Rotary Club, while Narcisco Puentes is a retired educator with 40 years of experience under his belt.

Rock Falls Mayor and City Council

Incumbent Mayor Bill Wescott is running against challenger and Ward 3 Alderman Rod Kleckler.

Wescott was first elected in 2013 after serving as City Clerk, and Kleckler was elected to the council in 2015.

Two people are running for a 2-year term for Ward 2, currently held by Casey Babel, who was appointed in July following the death of Glen Kuhlemier.

Babel, who works in IT at KSB Hospital, is running against Dennis Fulrath, the retired son of a former Ward 2 alderman who made an unsuccessful run in 2017 for council.

Ward 3 Alderman Jim Schuneman is looking to retain his seat against challenger Steven Dowd, who recently retired from Northwestern Steel and Wire.

Schuneman has served on the council for 12 years, and spent 10 years on the East Coloma School Board.

Ward 4 Alderwoman Violet Sobottka, who’s served four years on the council, is running against newcomer Marshall Doane, who works for Riverside Logistics for Cimco.

Rachel Rodgers

Rachel Rodgers

Rachel Rodgers joined Sauk Valley Media in 2016 covering local government in Dixon and Lee County.