Candidature File for County Offices | Local News

As the deadline passed Monday for candidates to submit nominations to county offices, several contested primary races emerged for Kankakee County.

The election will take place on June 28, which is later than normal due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The offices of Kankakee County Clerk, Treasurer and Sheriff had only Republican candidates as incumbents, Dan Hendrickson, Nick Africano and Mike Downey, respectively, and will seek re-election.

The biggest battles of the election will take place in the county council races. All 28 county council seats are up for election this year, and there have been filings in every district.

There will be primary races in Districts 10, 12 and 20, while there will be no contest until the November 8 general election in Districts 5, 8, 10, 12, 20 and 27.

Incumbent Republican Chris Tholen filed for District 10, as did fellow Republican Karen Johnston, a former Kankakee school board member.

“It’s going to be the most interesting race,” said Africano, who serves as Republican Party chairman in addition to his role as county treasurer. “The party supports the incumbent president.”

The winner will face Democratic challenger Marlene Aumiller in November.

In District 12, Michael Gowler opted out of running for re-election, and Republicans Raymond Van Gilder and Chad Scanlon filed for re-election.

“Chad Scanlon has the support of the party,” Africano said.

Democrat Araceli Sharper has also filed for the seat in District 12, which covers part of western Kankakee County.

In District 20, which includes parts of Bradley and Bourbonnais, two Republicans filed, leaving incumbent Erik Rayman to face Jeffery Ashcraft.

“Erik is the starter, and we will support Erik,” Africano said.

Janis Peters, who represents District 8, was redistributed to District 5 along with Tinker Parker and chose not to run, Africano said. Republican Kathleen Rittmanic-Emme filed, as did Democrat Raymond Chamberlain in District 8.

Parker will seek re-election in District 5, which is in the north-central part of the county, and will face Democrat James Frey and Libertarian Jacob Carlile in November.

Longtime board member Steve Liehr chose not to run for office in District 28, which includes the northwestern part of Bourbonnais. Realtor Amanda Armer-Irps ran as a Republican for the seat.

“He had been talking about it for a while,” Africano said of Liehr not seeking re-election. “He and his wife want to enjoy their retirement a little more.”

The Illinois Women Democrats of Kankakee County are trumpeting that six female Democrats have run for county board seats. This is believed to be a record number, according to the party leadership.

“The county council leadership pushed through a redistricting map late last year which placed four incumbent women on the county council in the primaries. However, the women of Kankakee County will not be silenced,” the party said in a press release.

In addition to Aumiller, the Communications Secretary for the Illinois Democratic Women of Kankakee County, who is running in District 10, and Sharper in District 12, the other candidates are Rosemary Foster in District 4, Jessica Andrade in District 13, incumbent Pat Polk in District 19. and Dondi Maricle in District 27.

Foster is running for a seat held by Samuel Payton. The district encompasses the township of Pembroke.

“She’s very capable,” said Democratic Party Chairman Steve Hunter. “Sam is the township supervisor, so he wore two hats. [Rosemary] is well educated. We are happy and honored to have him.

In all, there will be 11 Democrats running for election to county council, including fellow incumbents Hunter (District 17), Robert Ellington-Snipes (District 18) and Larry Kerkstra (District 23).

“We’re outnumbered on the board with 20 Republicans to seven Democrats and one Libertarian,” Hunter said, adding that the party would be looking to win seats. “…That’s what we’re trying to do. We will let the citizens decide and represent for them.

Maricle will face incumbent Republican Dennis Smith in November in District 27, which covers Bourbonnais.

Democratic board member Kimberly Hudson, from Kankakee District 15, decided not to run for office after being redistributed to District 18 with Ellington-Snipes, Hunter said. Democrat Heather Bryan of District 23 in Bradley will not be seeking re-election as fellow Democrat Dem Kerkstra was redistributed to District 23 from 21.

“[Bryan] was planning on running,” Hunter said. “She chose not to run because of the reconfiguration of borders.”

Other Republican incumbents seeking re-election were: Roger Hess, District 1; Colton Ekhoff, District 2; Todd Sirois, District 3; Raymond Fairfield, District 6; John Fetherling, District 7; Craig Long, District 9; Carol Webber, District 11; Joseph Swanson, District 14; Matthew Alexander-Hildebrand, District 16; Antonio Carrico, District 22; Aaron Dunnil, District 24; Chad Miller, District 25; and Andrew Wheeler, District 26, in addition to Smith.

Additionally, Republicans Amber Turner filed in District 15 and Peggy Sue Munday in District 21, seats left vacant with the redistricting.

County Auditor Jake Lee is not running for re-election in this cycle.

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