Eight is enough for Oak Lawn Trustee Carol Quinlan.
The veteran village board member has decided against running for a third, four-year term in April, but has wasted little time endorsing a candidate to run for her 5th District seat.
Bud Stalker, a long-time Oak Lawn resident announced his candidacy last week. He joins Dan Johnson and Paul Vail in the race.
“I just think he’s a straight-up guy,” Quinlan said. “He would be ideal.”
Stalker also has the support of former 5th District Trustee Marge Joy and former Village Clerk Jayne Powers.
Quinlan said she decided after winning re-election in 2011 that she would not run again.
“I had only planned for two terms. I think it’s a good think to have new blood,” Quinlan said, adding that she’s looking forward to spending more time with her family.
An ally of former Mayor Dave Heilmann, Quinlan became part of the village board minority in 2013 when Mayor Sandra Bury won election and often disagreed with the mayor on various issues.
Quinlan said she has known Stalker for many years through their involvement at St. Linus parish.
“You have to find someone who’s passionate,” she said. “I wanted to find someone who would do a great job for the village.”
Stalker, 68, has lived in Oak Lawn for 25 years. He retired in 2009 following a career as an electrical contractor. He is the president of his condominium board and is a member of the International Association of Electrical Inspectors.
The experience, he said, prepares him to serve on the sometimes contentious village board.
“If you think this is tough, you ought to try negotiating a contract worth a couple million dollars,” Stalker said.
He added that he is prepared to work with Oak Lawn Mayor Sandra Bury and other members of the village board.
“I am not for or against the mayor,” said Stalker, who describes himself as an independent.
Both Vail and Johnson also have said they are independent candidates not aligned with the mayor or other factions of the board.
Vail, 36 is a lifelong Oak Lawn resident who chairs the village’s corridor studies committee. He works as a construction manager.
Johnson is the commander of the Johnson-Phelps VFW Post in Oak Lawn.
He served more than 20 years in the U.S. Army, including four years of active duty, two tours of combat in Iraq and one tour in Afghanistan.
He was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service in a combat zone in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2013. He is a member of the Army Reserve.
Stalker and his wife, Mary Ellen, have been married for 44 years. They have five children and seven grandchildren. He is a graduate of Brother Rice High School and Bradley University.
Stalker said he considered for months Quinlan’s suggestion that he run and added that he’s looking forward to the race.
“It’s going to be a real good opportunity for three people to discuss the issues,” Stalker said.
The race could involve more than three candidates, as there are rumors other contenders may jump into the contest, Quinlan said.
Stalker has not yet discussed his candidacy with Trustee Bob Streit, Bury’s chief opposition on the board, but plans to meet with the veteran trustee.
“Bob is an interesting person,” Stalker said.
Streit is seeing his seventh term on the board and is facing a challenge from Scott Hollis, 58, a newcomer to Oak Lawn, who announced his candidacy in August.