JOLIET – Candidates running for countywide offices, County Board district seats and the precinct committee in the March primary elections were lined up Monday morning to file their petitions.
The countywide seats up for election include the county clerk, treasurer, sheriff and regional superintendent of schools. County Board positions include those for Districts 1, 2, 4 , 5, 6, 7, 9 and 11, with two board members a district. All precinct committee positions are open for two-year terms.
Will County Board member Lauren Staley-Ferry, D-Joliet, was the first in line to file her petitions to run for Will County clerk. Those first in line when the office opened at 8:30 a.m. would qualify to be first on the ballot. A lottery will be held to determine the first name on the ballot if more than one candidate from the same party files for the same office.
“I’m really excited to have this day finally be here,” said Staley-Ferry, who will qualify for the lottery with Democratic rival Denise Mushro-Rumchak, the current Lockport Township clerk.
Laurie McPhillips was the first Republican candidate in line Monday to vie for the Will County clerk’s position. The race for the position is wide open, since longtime Will County Clerk Nancy Schultz Voots announced in July that she will not seek re-election.
Voots was running the filing Monday for one of the last times before her term ends in December 2018. She said her office has been trying to be as helpful as it can to both candidates and voters because she said all elections, but especially local ones, have a big effect on residents.
“We do everything in our power to educate our candidates in how you had to do things,” Voots said. “The sad thing about it is that people will come out in a presidential election and vote, but the elections that they really need to come out and vote are the local ones.”
While many in line were candidates with a good deal of experience running for local offices, there was one newcomer. Mimi Cowan, 42, who lives in the southern part of Naperville that is in Will County, is running for Will County District 11.
Cowan has never run for office before. She was a college history professor who initially did not set out to run for office when she started to get involved in politics, but then she saw no other Democrat was running to represent District 11. Republicans Suzanne Hart and Chuck Maher currently serve on the Will County Board from the district.
“The main motivation was last year’s November election,” Cowan said. “As a Democrat, it really forced me to take a look at my own personal involvement in making sure that things I believe in happen.”
Here are the candidates listed for countywide and Will County Board spots as of Monday:
The order does not represent how the names will appear on the ballot.
Laurie McPhillips, R-Plainfield
Denise Mushro-Rumchak, D-Crest Hill
Lauren Staley-Ferry, D-Joliet
Mike Kelley, D-Lockport
Bob Howard, D-Beecher
Laurie Summers, D-Crete
Jim Moustis, R-Frankfort
Keith Ogle, R-Frankfort
Cory Singer, R-Frankfort
Kenneth Harris, D-Bolingbrook,
Jacqueline L. Traynere, D-Bolingbrook
Meta Mueller, D-Aurora
Mazyar M. Hedayat, D-Plainfield
Don Gould, R-Shorewood
Stephen J. Balich, R-Orland Park
Mike Fricilone, R-Homer Glen
Annette Parker, R-Crest Hill
Jim Murphy, D-Joliet
Todd C. Randich, D-Crest Hill
Rachel F. Ventura, D-Joliet
Suzanne Hart, R-Naperville
Chuck Maher, R-Naperville
Michelle “Mimi” Cowan, D-Naperville
The next step in the process for those in the Will County Clerk’s Office will be to rule on objections filed to contest a candidate’s eligibility.
The lottery to determine which of the candidates will appear first on the ballot will be at 9 a.m. Dec. 12.
The clerk’s office website will have an updated list of candidates who have filed every day at 3:30 p.m. The last day to file petitions is Dec. 4.
Look up federal and state candidates at www.elections.il.gov.