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Candidates’ forums coming up

League of Women Voters host congressional, county race debates

Voters wanting to do their homework in the weeks before the March 18 primary can hear from the candidates running in seven races.

The League of Women Voters of McHenry County is sponsoring a total of four forums for all contested Republican county government races and the contested Democratic primary for the 14th Congressional District.

McHenry County College will host the forums, all of them starting at 7 p.m.

The first, set for Monday, highlights the 14th District primary race between Dennis Anderson and John Hosta. Anderson, of Gurnee, and Hosta, of Spring Grove, are running for the seat now held by incumbent Republican Randy Hultgren of Batavia. The 14th District includes all of McHenry County, except for Algonquin Township, which is in the 6th District.

Tuesday evening’s forum, co-sponsored by the Northwest Herald, will feature the hotly-contested sheriff’s primary between former Des Plaines Police Cmdr. Bill Prim and Undersheriff Andy Zinke. Sheriff Keith Nygren is not seeking re-election.

Accusations have flown back and forth in the acrimonious race. Prim accuses the office for which Zinke works of having an “entitlement mentality” and blames it for the political infighting between Nygren and State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi. Zinke alleges that Prim’s understanding of the office is “naive” and accuses Prim of being long on political rhetoric and short on ideas.

Republican candidates for county treasurer and county clerk will be featured at the March 3 forum. Crystal Lake City Council member Jeff Thorsen is running against Chief Deputy Treasurer Glenda Miller, and County Board members Mary McClellan and Nick Provenzano are running for county clerk. Treasurer Bill LeFew and County Clerk Katherine Schultz are not seeking re-election.

The clerk’s race heated up last week after McClellan brought up the fact that Provenzano was involved with a 2011 meeting to come up with an alternate post-census redistricting map that the Illinois Attorney General concluded violated the Illinois Open Meetings Act. Provenzano subsequently countered by attacking McClellan’s attendance record, alleging that she has missed numerous County Board and committee meetings and missed numerous votes on the budget, tax levy and appointments to boards and commissions.

The league’s last forum will be March 4 and will feature Republican candidates from the four County Board districts with contested primaries. Three candidates for two open seats are running in Districts 1, 5 and 6, while four candidates are running in District 3.

One of the questions expected to arise is candidates’ positions on the March referendum for voters to decide whether the County Board chairman should be popularly elected every four years, rather than chosen by the 24-member board every two years.

The March 4 forum for County Board candidates will be held in the Bersted Lecture Hall, Room A240. The other three forums will be held in the Building B conference center.


If you go ...

The League of Women Voters of McHenry County is holding four candidate forums for contested March 18 primary races:

• Monday – The Democratic primary for the 14th Congressional District.

• Tuesday – The Republican primary for county sheriff, in a forum co-hosted by the Northwest Herald.

• March 3 – Republican primaries for county treasurer and county clerk.

• March 4 – Republican races for County Board districts 1, 3, 5 and 6. The referendum as to whether to make the board chairmanship popularly elected will also be addressed.

All forums start at 7 p.m. at the Building B conference center of McHenry County College, 8900 Route 14, Crystal Lake. The forum for County Board candidates will be held in the Bersted Lecture Hall, Room A240.

On the Net

You can learn more about the candidates in the March primary at Northwest Herald Election Central at

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