Democrats find candidates to challenge GOP in DuPage races
DuPage County's Democratic organization doesn't want to concede two high-profile countywide positions and several county board seats to the Republicans without a fight.
To prevent that from happening, the party has picked candidates to run in the November election for DuPage County Board chairman, DuPage County Forest Preserve president and three county board seats.
No Democrats ran for those positions during the March primary. But party leaders were able to select candidates for the general election as long as each hopeful gathered enough signatures to get on the November ballot.
The emergence of new Democratic candidates means DuPage will have a dozen contested races at the countywide, county board and forest preserve level.
"I always believe that a Democrat should be there on the ballot along with a Republican," said Robert Peickert, chairman of the DuPage Democratic Party.
So Joe Cantore of Oak Brook, the Republican nominee for forest preserve president, likely will face Democrat Brian Wolter of Carol Stream during the general election. The winner will replace retiring forest preserve President D. "Dewey" Pierotti Jr.
Meanwhile, Peickert has agreed to run against county board Chairman Dan Cronin.
Party leaders asked Peickert to seek the county board chairman position because they didn't want Cronin to run unopposed.
"I'm looking forward to campaigning," Peickert said. "I will be raising some funds. And I will be putting together my platform to let people know what I plan to do as chairman of the county board."
Cronin, who is seeking a second term as county board chairman, faced no opponents in the Republican primary.
He said he's not surprised Peickert wants to run.
"I don't expect to run unopposed," Cronin said. "If there's a race, I'm happy to talk about our record and give people an opportunity to compare what we've done and what he may propose."
Before the campaigns can start, it must be determined whether anyone will challenge the petitions filed by Peickert, Wolter and the other Democratic candidates.
Objections to any of the candidate's nominating paperwork must be filed by the end of Monday, June 9.
According to DuPage Election Commission officials, Peickert and Wolter each need 998 signatures to appear on the general election ballot. Peickert said his petition contains more than 2,200 signatures.
Because only three Democrats ran for six county board seats during the primary, party leaders picked Roland "Rolly" Waller, Max J. Havlick and Regina Drucilla Brent to challenge three other Republican incumbents.
Waller of Bensenville plans to face Paul Fichtner of Elmhurst for a District 1 seat. The district includes all or portions of Addison, Bensenville, Bloomingdale, Elmhurst, Glendale Heights, Itasca, Lombard, Roselle, Villa Park and Wood Dale.
Havlick of Villa Park hopes to run against Peter DiCianni of Elmhurst for a District 2 seat. The district covers all or portions of Addison, Clarendon Hills, Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Hinsdale, Lisle, Lombard, Naperville, Oak Brook, Oakbrook Terrace, Villa Park, Westmont and Woodridge.
Brent wants to face fellow Aurora resident Tonia Khouri for a District 5 seat. The district includes parts of Aurora, Lisle, Naperville, Warrenville and Woodridge.