More enter ’14 County Board races

D-3 GOP primary could be 5-way race for 2 seats

The Republican primary ballot for McHenry County Board District 3 could end up being a five-way race for two open seats.

Attorney Sarah Jansen, who spent four years as an assistant McHenry County state’s attorney, announced last week that she would run for office. Nunda Precinct Committeeman James Becker also pulled a petition. District 3 includes all of Nunda Township, southeastern McHenry and northeastern Algonquin townships, including all or parts of Crystal Lake, McHenry, Bull Valley, Prairie Grove, Holiday Hills and Lakemoor.

“I want to ensure McHenry County remains a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family. Given recent events in Washington, it is clear we need good leaders who can work together in all levels of government. I know I am the right person for the job,” Jansen said in a news release.

Jansen joins GOP incumbent Joe Gottemoller, also an attorney, in running in the March 18 primary. Besides Becker, former County Board member Mary Donner and District 47 school board member Nancy Gonsiorek have pulled petitions.

District 3 board member Mary McClellan, whose term expires next year, has decided instead to run for county clerk. She will run in the primary against fellow board member Nick Provenzano and county clerk’s employee Keith Addison. Provenzano does not have to give up his seat to run, because his term does not expire until 2016.

All 12 County Board incumbents up for election next year – 10 Republicans and both of the board’s Democratic members – have declared their candidacies or pulled petitions. Republican Donna Kurtz announced last week her intent to run for re-election in District 2, which covers northwestern Algonquin and far northeastern Grafton Township, covering much of Crystal Lake and Lakewood.

“There is still much work yet to do in order to promote government responsiveness, transparency, fiscal responsibility and protection of the watershed and our groundwater. That is why I will be seeking another term, and asking the people of District 2 once again for their support,” Kurtz said.

Another contested GOP primary is developing in District 1 for its two open seats. Incumbent Robert Nowak will be running again, Fox River Grove blogger and retired Air Force officer Andrew Gasser has announced his candidacy, and former Barrington Hills Trustee Elaine Ramesh has pulled a petition. District 1 covers southern and eastern Algonquin townships and a sliver of Grafton Township, including all or most of Algonquin, Cary, Fox River Grove and Barrington Hills.

Three of the four races for countywide elected office will have contested Republican primaries – County Clerk Katherine Schultz, Treasurer Bill LeFew and Sheriff Keith Nygren are not seeking re-election.

Chief Deputy Treasurer Glenda Miller and Crystal Lake City Council member Jeff Thorsen are running for treasurer, and Undersheriff Andy Zinke and former Des Plaines Police Cmdr. Bill Prim are running for sheriff. The winner of the sheriff’s primary could face off in November against independent candidate Jim Harrison, a labor attorney and former sheriff’s deputy.

The County Board’s two Democratic members – Nick Chirikos in District 1 and Paula Yensen in District 5 – mean contested races in the November election. Longtime Democratic state Rep. Jack Franks will face a November race against Republican challenger Steven Reick for the 63rd House District, which covers most of McHenry County.

Voters in House District 65 will elect a new representative, because Republican Rep. Tim Schmitz is not seeking re-election. Voters in the 33rd Senate District will elect their state senator – Sen. Karen McConnaughay, R-St. Charles, drew a two-year term after the 2012 election in the wake of redistricting after the 2010 U.S. Census. She is running for re-election.

Also up for election next year are all statewide constitutional offices, the U.S. Senate seat held by Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin, and all seats in the U.S. and state houses of representatives.

A binding referendum will be put to voters in March asking whether they want to directly elect the McHenry County Board chairman.

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