ST. CHARLES – The Republican candidates running for two Kane County offices – clerk and sheriff – fielded questions from the public Tuesday night during a candidates forum hosted by the League of Women Voters of Central Kane County.
The candidates for clerk are incumbent Jack Cunningham of Aurora and County Board member Mark Davoust of St. Charles. No Democratic candidate has filed for the position.
Facing an audience at the Kane County Branch Court in St. Charles, Davoust said he would bring a fresh perspective to the office and would work to bring more voters to the polls.
“This system works best when we have the most people involved,” he said.
Cunningham would not use taxpayer dollars for purposes not statutorily required, he said. He said using taxpayer money to get people to vote sets a “dangerous precedent.”
Cunningham said he has a proven record that includes converting the county’s election procedures to an electronic system. He plans to continue to do what he has been doing, he said.
“I’m proud of what we’ve done in our office,” Cunningham said.
Lt. Kevin Williams and retired Lt. Donald Kramer, both of Geneva, are vying for sheriff. The winner of the Republican primary will face Sgt. Willie Mayes Sr. in November.
Sheriff Pat Perez, a Democrat, is not seeking another term.
Williams has been a civil servant in various capacities, he said, noting his commitment to Kane County residents is why he wants the job.
“I’m very passionate about serving,” he said.
Kramer’s interest in police work began as a child, he said, noting his father was in law enforcement and was sheriff when he joined the office.
Both candidates said there is a need to work with the community to address heroin and substance abuse.
Kramer said a three-pronged approach is needed: Prevention, education and enforcement.
“It’s a community problem,” Kramer said.
Williams said prescription drugs also must be included in the discussion. Many kids become hooked on those drugs during treatment of a sports-related injury, he said, noting that can lead to their use of street drugs.
The primary election is March 18. Early voting started Monday.