Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant First Woman Elected to Will County Executive Role

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When former Will County Executive Larry Walsh announced he would not seek reelection in 2020, it would be the first time in 16 years someone new would hold the position.

After all the ballots were counted, it would also be the first time a woman was elected to the office.

“When the late Larry Walsh Sr. said he was not going to run again, I knew it was an opportunity for me to come home and be able to focus on my community where I’ve been all my life,” said Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, who was sworn in to the executive position in December.

Walsh died in June due to complications from prostate cancer and Will County Board Speaker Denise Winfrey filled in as Will County Executive in an interim role, though wasn’t elected to that position.

Bertino-Tarrant spent eight years as a state senator, but prior to that, served as Will County Superintendent of Schools.

COVID-19 Takes Precedence

She said she has goals for her term regarding transportation and technology, but dealing with COVID takes precedence.

“That has been our priority,” she said. “We’ve seen the vaccine rollout, so the implementation of that is very exciting but obviously we know it’s going to be months before everyone gets vaccinated, so we still need to be vigilant.”

Bertino-Tarrant said she’s focused on COVID from both a public health perspective as well as economically.

Active in the Community

And though the pandemic makes it difficult, she said she plans on being out and about across the county.

“I’m also someone who, much like Larry, I like to be in the community. I’m not someone who likes to sit in an office. You sit there you do your work, but I like to be out in the community. And while it’s a little hard right now because of COVID, you can anticipate that I will be out in the community.”

Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.


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