Bruce Rauner won’t be sworn in as Illinois’ 42nd governor until January, but the next election season is already underway as candidates for various local offices submit their nominating petitions next week.
If, as former U.S. Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill once said, “all politics is local,” the coming races for seats on village boards and city councils as well as school, park and library boards are especially important to residents in the communities covered by the Reporter.
Potential candidates have been gathering signatures on nominating petitions for weeks. The filing period runs from Monday through Dec. 22. The election is April 7. December 30 is the last day to file objections to nominating petitions.
Municipal elections are expected to be more contentious in some suburbs than others, with Oak Lawn likely in the lead when in comes to no-holds-barred campaigns.
Political drama also is expected in Chicago Ridge, where at least four challengers, including a former trustee, have indicated they will run for three seats on the village board. At least two incumbents also are expected to seek re-election.
In Oak Lawn, the focus will be on the 3rd District where veteran Trustee Bob Streit finds himself in a three-way race. Scott Hollis, a relative newcomer to the village, and Steve Loulousis, whose run previously for trustee, both have confirmed they’ll take a run at Streit.
First District Trustee Tim Desmond also has indicted he’s running after being elected to a two-year term in 2013. Former Trustee Cynthia Trautsch, who lost to Desmond two-years ago, has not responded to inquires about her plans for a rematch.
In District 5, Trustee Carol Quinlan will not seek a third term. Rather, she has endorsed Bud Stalker, a longtime Oak Lawn resident, who announced his candidacy several weeks ago.
A second candidate for the open seat is Dan Johnson, the president of the Johnson-Phelps VFW Post, who announced his plans to run in July. Also seeking the 5th District seat is Paul Vail, a member of the village’s planning and development commission. Vail announced his candidacy in March.
A least six candidates are expected to vie for three seats on the Chicago Ridge Village Board. Trustee Mike Davies term also expires in April but he has not indicated if he is running.
Incumbents Jack Lind and Dan Badon have circulated petitions for re-election.
Additionally, Bill McFarland, a paid-on-call firefighter and a member of the Our Lady of the Ridge school board; Don Pratl, a former trustee; Fran Coglianese and Dave Conrad also have expressed interest in running and are gathering petition signatures.
In Worth, the seats held by Trustees Pete Kats, Mary Rhein and Warren Soldan are open.
In Hickory Hills, Mayor Mike Howley is seeking re-election as is City Clerk D’Lorah Catizone and Treasurer Dan Schramm. Additionally, half of the city’s eight aldermen are up for re-election: Mike McHugh (1st), John Szeszycki (2nd), Tom McAvoy (3rd) and Scott Zimmerman (4th).
Half of the 10 aldermanic seats in Palos Hills are open. The council seats are held by Marty Kleefisch (1st), Pauline Stratton (2nd), Bill Hansen (3rd), Joseph Marrotta (4th) and Frank Williams (5th). Hansen has said he will not seek another term.
Finally, in Evergreen Park, Trustees Mary Keane, Mark Marzullo and Jim McQuillan are running for re-election to the six-member village board.
Not all the attention will be on municipal races. There will be several races for school board seats in the towns covered by the Reporter.
North Palos School District 117: three, four-year terms. Board members Tom Kostes and Ian Chafee are seeking re-election, and Kelly Pavloski will not run for another term.
Ridgeland School District 122: three, four-year terms. Board members Jan Werner, Tim Landingham and Dan Sodaro are up for re-election.
Oak Lawn-Hometown School District 123: three, four-year terms. Board members Joe Sorentino and Barney Leifker are not seeking another term.
Evergreen Park School District 124: three, four-year terms. Board members Kathy Rohan, Kim Leonard and Dawn McNamara are up for re-election.
Worth School District 127: Five of the board’s seven seats are up for election. All are for four-year terms.
Chicago Ridge School District 127.5: The race is wide open as six board seats are up for election. Three of the seats will be four-year terms, and the additional three seats will be two-year terms.
Oak Lawn Community High School District 229: The seats currently held by Matt Egan, Mike McCarthy and Tim Burke are up for election.
Community High District 218: Board members Marco Corsi (sub district 5) and Don Pratl (sub district 4) are up for re-election. Pratl is not seeking re-election, as he is running for trustee in Chicago Ridge.
Consolidated High School District 230: Three seats are up for election. They are currently held by Rick Nogal, Patrick O’Sullivan and Kathy Quilty.