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Two more candidates mean three-way McHenry County Clerk primary

Published: Monday, Sept. 9, 2013 1:45 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, Sept. 9, 2013 10:29 p.m. CDT

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Two more candidates for McHenry County Clerk now mean a three-way GOP March primary.

County Board member Mary McClellan and clerk's office employee Keith Addison announced their candidacies Monday to replace longtime clerk Katherine Schultz, who is not seeking a seventh term. County Board member Nick Provenzano, R-McHenry, officially entered the race last Wednesday, the day after Schultz announced her retirement.

McClellan, R-Holiday Hills, was elected to the County Board last November. She had worked for the McHenry County State's Attorney's Office before entering private practice, where she now represents Cook County in civil rights cases.

"I will bring you a fair, unbiased, accurate, efficient and ethical standard in my everyday work for you," McClellan said in a statement. "I have brought fresh ideas and positive solutions to [the] McHenry County Board. I would now like the opportunity to bring the same to the county clerk's office."

Addison, of Hebron, has worked in the county clerk's office for almost five years, handling equipment and logistics for elections. He said his background in information technology will come in handy with much-needed upgrades and the state push for online voter registration.

"I have some inside view. I know the people and I have a systems background." Addison said. "The people know me. And the main thing for me is just to step up."

Three of the four holders of countywide office whose terms expire next year – Schultz, Treasurer Bill LeFew and Sheriff Keith Nygren – are not seeking re-election. Schultz first took the job in 1990, and LeFew and Nygren first took their offices in 1997.

The fourth, Regional School Superintendent Leslie Schermerhorn, is running for re-election. She was appointed in 2012 after a long and frustrating search by the County Board, and was elected to fill the remaining two years of the unexpired term. The same thing that frustrated the search – the long list of criteria required under state law to hold the office – will likely mean that Schermerhorn will not face a primary challenger.

McClellan is choosing the county clerk's race over her board seat, which expires next year. Like half of the 24-member County Board, she drew a two-year term to re-stagger them – all 24 seats were up last year because of redistricting after the 2010 U.S. Census. Provenzano will keep his County Board seat if he loses his bid for county clerk, because he drew a four-year term, which does not expire until 2016.

County voters in the 2014 midterm election will elect one U.S. senator, their representatives in the Illinois and U.S. House of Representatives, all statewide constitutional offices, and 12 of the County Board’s 24 members. Voters in the 33rd Illinois Senate District will elect their state senator, who drew a two-year term after post-census redistricting.

Voters in March also will be asked to weigh in on a binding referendum on whether the County Board chairman should be popularly elected, as is done in most other collar counties.

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