Government

Bolingbrook Democrat appointed to fill Will County Board seat

New member believed to be first Muslim American to serve on board

will county board, government, bolingbrook

The Will County Board voted to seat a new member Thursday to fill a vacancy.

Saud Gazanfer, a Democrat from Bolingbrook, was appointed to fill the seat once held by Ken Harris, who resigned at the end of last year to take over as DuPage Township assessor.

Gazanfer has lived in Bolingbrook for more than 15 years and is a software engineer. He previously has run for the Bolingbrook Park District board.

“Saud has been a dedicated member of the Democratic Party for years,” said Will County Board Speaker Mimi Cowan, D-Naperville, calling him a “spectacular” choice to fill the seat.

Gazanfer also is believed by board members to be the first Muslim American to serve in a Will County government position, according to a Will County Board Democrats Facebook post.

The two-monthprocess to fill the seat was full of starts and stops as a ruling related to a lawsuit involving Champaign County government forced Will County officials to change their process for filling vacancies.

Then last month’s meeting was delayed because of the snowstorm Feb. 17.

At the rescheduled meeting Friday, Feb. 25, all Republicans and one Democratic member abstained from the vote and one Democratic member voted against the person previously nominated to fill the seat, Elnalyn Costa. With only 11 yes votes, there was not majority support on the 26-member board for her appointment.

Rachel Ventura, D-Joliet, said she voted no, not because she objected to Costa, but because she thought someone running for the board in the upcoming election should not fill the vacancy. Joe VanDuyne, D-Wilmington, said at the time that Costa had only pulled a petition to get on the ballot and was yet not officially a candidate for the board.