Sunday, March 26, 2023

Heretic, Rebel, Thing to Flout Endorsements for the April 4 Election in McHenry County

We are fast closing in on April 4, Spring election day for municipal and local government  units in IllinoisEarly voting and vote by mail are both open.   Unfortunately, Democrats and progressives are notorious for sitting out non-presidential elections.  But this year they need to bestir themselves as right-wingers are running both stealth and overt campaigns to take over local school boards, library districts, and other bodies in a coordinated attack on LGBTQ rights, basic scienceimmigrants, and honest U.S. history.  They are rallying their base with an attack on the “lefts woke agenda” in hopes of stirring up a virtual or real civil war.

Chicago Mayoral candidates Paul Vallas and Brandon Johnson.

The hotly contested dog fight for Chicago Mayor has naturally dominated media coverageBrandon Johnson, a Cook County Commissioner and former Chicago Teachers Union organizer, is the progressive favorite with strong support from public and service worker unions as well as many Black community leaders and police reform groups.  He faces establishment stalwart Paul Vallas who has based his campaign on crime fear, police union support, and deep pocket doners, including many Republican PACs and fat cats.  The two have split critical endorsements with Vallas peeling off some traditional progressives and Black leaders.  Two weeks ago it looked like Vallas might slide into office, but polling shows that Johnson has nearly closed the gap and is now in a statistical dead heat.  For what it’s worth, we recommend Johnson to our Chicago Friends.

But our focus is on critical local McHenry County races.  What follows is as much as possible a comprehensive review of most, if not all, contested races.  These are officially non-partisan races but the Democratic Party of McHenry County has assembled a list of endorsements.  We unapologetically draw on that.  But we also have considered other recommendations from McHenry County Citizens for Choice, public worker unions, and other issue organizations.

We don’t have time or space for detailed information on endorsed candidates, but we will highlight a few we consider particularly qualified or have long associations with.  Hold on to your hats, we’re off!

Yard signs at the Murfin Estate in Crystal Lake.

Municipal Races

Algonquin trustees—(vote for no more than three) Brian Dianis, Denize Namik, George Nwogu. ,

Cary trustee—(vote for no more than three) Ellen M. McAlpine and Dale Collier, Jr.

Crystal Lake—Note incumbent mayor Haig Haleblian is running as an un-opposed write-in candidate after his nominating petitions were challenged.  He seems to be broadly popular and has offended few since being named to fill the vacancy of long-time former Mayor Aaron Shepley.  We have no endorsement but recommend you take note of the correct spelling of his name if you plan to cast your ballot.  Issues of development and housing are important local issues.  City Council—(vote for no more than three) Bret Hopkins, Donald Kountz, Robert Brechbiel.

Lisa Haderllein for Harvard Ward 4 alderman.

Harvard Ward 4 (four year term)  Elizabeth LisaHaderllein is a particularly outstanding candidate—an environmentalist, former Executive Director of The Land Conservancy of McHenry County, feminist, and candidate for U.S. House of Representatives from the 14th District last Fall.

Holiday Hills Trustee—(vote for no more than three) Lisa Maier, Carol Stingel.

Johnsburg Trusteeunexpired two year term.  Mary E. “BethForeman.

McCullom Lake—(vote for no more than three) Nancy Matthessius, Michael Walker.

McHenry Ward 4—(vote for one)  Both candidates were recommended by County Dems and MCCC.  Christine Bassi, Ryan Harding.

Trout Valley—(vote for no more than three) Denise Johnson, David A. Peterson, Janette Warner.

                        Crystal Squires for Woodstock City Council.

Woodstock—(vote for no more than three) Dems recommend a total of six candidates, but we recommend a trio of strong women, Melissa McMahon, Natalie Ziemba a businesswoman and national leader in the fight against Alzheimer’s, and the tireless and amazing Crystal Squires who founded and organized Woodstock Pride and Woodstock Pride Fest.


Crystal Lake Park District—(vote for no more than three)  Cathy Cagle, Michael P. Jacobson.

Algonquin Public Library District—(vote for no more than one unexpired two year term.  Both candidates were recommended by County Dems and MCCC.  Melissa Iwinski, James D. Johnson.

Barrington Public Library District—(vote for no more than three) Full six year Term Rachel H. Forsyth-Tureck, Lindsay Prigge(vote for one) Two year term Jackie McGath.

Cary Public Library District—(vote for one)  Unexpired two year term  Scott Migalidi, (vote for one)  unexpired 4 year term  Theresa Hart.

Cary Fire Protection District—(vote for no more than two)  Lance Neuses.

Richmond Township Fire Protection District—(vote for one)  Larry Jones.

Community College

                    Suzzane Hoban for McHenry County College Board.

McHenry County Community College #528—(vote for no more than two)  Full six year term.  We heartily endorse incumbent Suzanne Hoban, a longtime community leader and founder and Executive Director of the McHenry County Family Health Partnership ClinicTwo year unexpired turn Tess Reinhard.

McHenry County Regional Office of Education

McHenry County Regional Board of Education(No more than one can serve from the same Congressional Township.)  Full six year term.  Township 43N Range 8E Algonquin.  Write in Adria TyndallFour year unexpired term.  Township 44N Range 7E Greenwood.  Long-time public school educator, former Secretary of the McHenry County Democratic Party, and candidate for the Illinois State Representative from the 63rd District Brian D. Meyers.

Schools by District Alphabetically

Barrington Community Unit School District 220—(vote for no more than three)  Full four year term.  McHenry Democrats recommend four candidates Diana I. Clapton, Nelda Munoz, and incumbents Barry Altshuler and Leah Collister-Lazzari.

Community Unit District 300 (Elgin)—(vote for no more than four)  Full four year Term.   This is the second largest district in Illinois after Chicago and includes parts of McHenry County.  Township 42N Range 8E Dundee incumbent Nancy Zettler, Township 42N Range 7E Rutland Olutola Tola Makine and Randi Gauthier.

Teachers indorse Cary School District 26 candidates.

Cary Community Consolidated School District 26—(vote for no more than three)  Full four year term.  This is a race targeted by conservative activists.  Deanna Dee Darling is the incumbent board president and an active leader in gun violence campaigns, McHenry County NOW, and McHenry County Democratic Women.  Also recommended are incumbents Jason Janczak and Kathyrn Potter, McHenry County Democrats District 1 chair.  All three are endorsed by the Cary Education Association (CEA).

Crystal Lake Community Consolidated School District 47  Another race targeted by conservative activists.  Lisa Messinger, a pediatrician, mom, and community activist, is a long-time associate and leading member of the Tree of Life Unitarian Universalist Congregation Social Justice Team.  Also recommended are Patrice ReeseDewey and Laura LW StantonUn-expired two year term Jonathan Johny Norquist. All are endorsed by the teacher’s union.

Community High School District 155 (Crystal Lake-Cary)—(vote for no more than three)  Full four year termStephanie ONeil Macro, incumbent Amy Blazer, and Steve Kiefer. All are endorsed by the teacher’s union.

Fox River Grove School District 3)—(vote for no more than three)  Full four year term.    McHenry County Democrats recommends five candidates.  Incumbent Thomas Mollet, Lisa Spiek, incumbents Katie Koll and Alex Johnson, and challenger Melissa Brennan.

Paula Yensen for Huntley School District.

Huntley Community Consolidated School District 158—(vote for no more than three)  Full four year term.  McHenry County Democrats recommend four candidates, incumbents Jonathan Dailey, Melissa M. Maiorino, and William Gehren plus challenger Paula Yensen who we heartily endorse.  She was a career non-profit administrator, former Lake in the Hills trustee, former dean of Democrats on the McHenry County Board, President of McHenry County NOW, and a long-time active member of the Tree of Life UU Congregation.  Unexpired two year term.  McHenry Democrats recommend two.  Andrew Fekete and incumbent Kevin Gentry.

Marengo-Union Elementary District 165—(vote for no more than three) Full four year term.  Incumbent Mathew Erbstoesser and challenger Amanda Weiss and Lesley Pace.

McHenry Community Consolidated School District 15—(vote for no more than three) Full four year term.  Matthew Stauner, incumbent Arne Waltmire, and Patrick J. DeGeorge.

McHenry High School District 156—(vote for no more than three) Full four year term.  Nicole Morrow, incumbent Dawn L. Bremer, and Timothy R. Hyers.

Nippersink School District 2—(vote for no more than three) Full four year term.  Alie Stansbury and incumbent Joe Quinn.

Prairie Grove Community Consolidated School District 46—(vote for no more than three) Full four year term.  Incumbents Josie Shattuck and Stphanie Housh.

Woodstock Community Unit School District 200—(vote for no more than three) Full four year term.  Township 45N Range 7E Greenwood Jerry Miceli and incumbent John HeadleyTownship 44N Range 6E Seneca Michelle Bidwell.

We recommend that to maximize the power of your vote in races where not every position is endorsed that you only cast your ballot for the recommended candidates.

For early voting sites and hours click here.  For your election day polling places click here.  Note that in recent elections McHenry County Clerk Joe Tirio has sent some voters to incorrect polling sites.  Republican trained judges are also challenging voters for minor discrepancies like omitting a middle name or matching decades-old on file voter registration signatures.  Make sure to bring current picture IDs.

Feel free to copy, paste, and print this blog post to use as a reference when voting.


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