For the first time in six election cycles, the Naperville Township Republican Organization will hold a primary to determine which candidates will appear on the April 4 ballot.
The high turnout could be tied to the recent talk about government consolidation between the City of Naperville and the Naperville township which was a non-binding question put to the voters and now a talking point for the candidates.
“There are two slates, one includes a couple of incumbents that are okay with intergovernmental agreements or consolidation to lower the taxes for all residents, the other one is they’re also in favor of lowering taxes, but they also think the township role is fine and should continue to perform the way they are. And then there are a couple independent candidates too,” said Kenn Miller, a political commentator for NCTV17.
Up for election is the role of Township Supervisor with incumbent Rachel Ossyra and newcomer Walter Reilly looking to take the seat. And for Township Clerk incumbent Barry Greenburg is looking to retain his seat, while newcomer Thomas Laz will appear on the ballot.
Ten have turned up for the role of trustees, with two incumbents looking to serve again. Those candidates in ballot order are: Bill Lueck, Paul Santucci, Catherine Hanzelin, Karyn (Kerry) Malm, Daniel Porter, Kurt Dorr, Jim Ruhl, Chris Jacks, Ernest Kovacs and Heather Bejda.
And the role of Highway Commissioner currently held by Stan Wojtasiak, and Township Assessor, currently held by Warren Dixon III are uncontested.
While the candidates have their differences, as a group they look to address topics important to township taxpayers.
“Naperville is typically ahead of the curve in a lot of things and this is one of those, where we’re seeing action being taken to address should we consolidate between governments and cities and municipalities,” added Miller.
For those who may feel their voice isn’t heard, this primary is their chance to make that happen.
“This is their voice in the Township election. And it will help get us to the area of addressing consolidation and intergovernmental agreement which I think it’s really important, not just for this area but the state as well,” said Miller.
The primary Republican vote getters will then be seen on the ballot along with any Democratic candidates voted in by caucus, on the April 4 consolidated election.
Naperville News 17’s Alyssa Bochenek reports.