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Schaumburg: Money, debates in Republican sheriff's race

Published: Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014 5:30 a.m. CST

We’re two months from the March primary, which means we’re likely days away from the letters-to-the-editor inbox filling up with election letters.

(As an aside ... If you’re writing an election-related letter to the editor, please remember you are limited to 150 words. It doesn’t take that many words to say my candidate is great, and your candidate is not so great.)

One race sure to dominate letters space is the Republican primary for McHenry County Sheriff between Andrew Zinke and Bill Prim. I’m pretty sure the over-under on the number of letters it takes before we get to name-calling is three.

(Another aside, if you will. ... You can only have one letter published every 30 days. Keep this in mind as you try to incite letter-writers who support the candidate you don’t support. This includes the candidates themselves.)

Since I last checked in on this race in this column space (yeah, it’s been a while; sorry, I’ve been busy), we’ve had a debate on who’s hosting debates and another set of campaign disclosure quarterly reports filed.

Zinke, the McHenry County Undersheriff, took over the fundraising lead after the third-quarter campaign disclosure filings. He’s held on to that lead after the fourth quarter.

Zinke has $38,418 in the bank compared to Prim’s $23,600.41. Zinke raised $21,401.23 in the quarter. Prim, a former Des Plaines police commander, raised $10,310.00.

Among Zinke’s top individual donors between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31 were Sage Products Chairman Vince Foglia ($6,000), Patricia Foglia ($5,000), the law firm Franks, Gerkin & McKenna ($1,000), Fabrik Molded Plastics President Keith Wagner ($1,000), the McHenry County Building & Construction Trades Council ($500) Martin Halwix of McHenry ($500), and Mark Justen of McHenry ($500).

Zinke also received $1,061.23 from Citizens To Elect Sheriff Nygren, and $500 from the Construction & General Laborer’s District Council of Chicago and DRIVE, which is Democrat, Republican, Independent Voter Education – the PAC of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

Among Prim’s top individual donors between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31 were Bulk Lift International ($2,000), Tom Cooper of Wonder Lake ($2,000) and Rabine Group CEO Gary Rabine ($1,000), whose involvement with Patriots United led to Zinke rejecting an invitation from the group to debate Prim.

Rabine and Brian Kelly are two of Patriots United’s seven board members. Illinois State Board of Elections documents indicate Rabine and Kelly have contributed more than $10,000 to Prim’s campaign.

As a result, Zinke backed out of the debate, citing fairness. Prim then blasted Zinke and accused him of avoiding him of not wanting to debate.

Well, we’re trying to put an end to that. The Northwest Herald is in the process of securing a location to have the two candidates debate.

Zinke and Prim have told us they are willing to do it. We’re looking for a venue in late February to do it. We’ll keep you posted.

• • •

You called, and we listened. Starting Tuesday, Buzz will return to the pages of the Northwest Herald. Buzz features celebrity and entertainment news, including a list of celebrity birthdays, which appears to be really popular with readers. I had one reader call me to say that the celebrity birthday list was the only reason he subscribed to the paper.

So, after a brief hiatus, Buzz will be back. Thanks to everyone who called me or Features Editor Valerie Katzenstein to share with us your opinion.

• Jason Schaumburg is editor of the Northwest Herald. He’s been a Broncos fan since 1986 and will be on pins and needles Sunday afternoon. Reach him at 815-459-4122 or via email at jschaumburg@shawmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Schaumy.

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