Your Vote: A Guide to the Nov. 6 Election
All you need to know about the Nov. 6 election in Will County.
Updated 8 a.m. Nov. 7:
Election Day. It's finally here. After months of hard campaigning across the county, voters are ready to cast ballots that could change the face of county government.
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One of Will County's most contentious races has been that of the battle between Plainfield Republican Dave Carlson and his former boss, Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow. Carlson has gone on the offensive, accusing Glasgow of courting the media; meanwhile, incumbent Glasgow is coming off big wins in the Drew Peterson and Christopher Vaughn murder trials.
However, that is not the only contested race voters will see on the ballot Tuesday.
All of the incumbents holding countywide offices are facing challenges to their positions. County Board member Cory Singer, a Republican from Frankfort, opted not to seek re-election so he could try to unseat County Executive Larry Walsh, a Democrat. Walsh is also facing a challenge from Leonard Thompson Jr., a fellow Democrat.
The other countywide officeholders are also Democrats. Circuit Clerk Pam McGuire is facingMarlene Carlson, Recorder of Deeds Karen Stukel is facing Laurie McPhillips, Auditor Duffy Blackburn is facing Mark Batinick, and Coroner Patrick O'Neil is facing Charles Lyons.
The Will County Board is sure to see some new faces after the election.
In District 5, two incumbents — Republicans Lee Ann Goodson and John Argoudelis — are facing off against newcomer Reed Bible, an attorney and retired investigator for the Department of Homeland Security.
The District 13 race is wide open, with no incumbents — that's because the district is brand new, having been created during the Will County reapportionment process following the 2010 Cenus. The race pits Republicans Liz Collins and Tim Kraulidis against Democrat Mark Ferry. Ultimately, two board members will be elected to represent the new district.
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Republicans are pushing hard to make House Speaker Mike Madigan and the Democratic majorities in the General Assembly an issue. Out in the far western suburbs, Republicans Kay Hatcher, Garrett Peck and Jim Oberweis look to make a strong showing in this traditionally conservative area. They'll take on Democrats Andrew Bernard, Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant and Corrine Pierog, respectively
Plainfield Township Park District commissioner Peter Hurtado is a small business owner who says he got his start as a laborer and worked his way up the ranks before opening his own business. Democrat Linda Holmes, the incumbent, was endorsed thusly by the Chicago Tribune: "Is this some alternative universe? Republican Peter Hurtado of Plainfield proposes a $1 per transaction tax on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange to fund state pensions, a sure way to send the exchanges packing. He knocks Democratic Sen. Linda Holmes of Aurora for voting to cut Medicaid spending and end the corrupt legislative scholarship program. Holmes is endorsed.”
Plainfield Republican Garrett Peck, a village trustee, was among the candidates who received endorsements from the Chicago Tribune. Peck is going up against Will County Regional Superintendent of Schools Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant.
In endorsing Peck, the Trib wrote that Bertino-Tarrant “is woefully short on specifics about how to address the state's most vexing problems,” while saying Peck “speaks with confidence about how he'd fix the state's pension and workers' compensation systems, about the limitations of the new campaign finance laws, about the Catch-22 of handing out tax breaks to prevent businesses from fleeing the state. He would like to abolish the do-nothing Health Facilities Planning Board. He would bring a common-sense business perspective to state government."
97th State House: Tom Cross (R)
Incumbent Tom Cross is running unopposed, once again — but this time in a newly created district. The new 97th District encompasses portions of Plainfield, Shorewood and Oswego.
Bob Kalnicky of Bolingbrook serves on the Fountaindale Public Library board and is the executive director of the Community Service Council of Northern Will County; Natalie Manley is a Joliet accountant and co-host of WJOL's "Lynne, Mary and Natalie" show. Their race has taken a nasty turn, with Kalnicky issuing an ad (complete with a photo of handcuffs) attacking Manley for a May 2012 domestic battery arrest — despite the fact that the case was dropped in August and, ultimately, no charges were filed. Some voters said they found the ad offensive, and Joliet Mayor Thomas Giarrante issued a statement chastising Kalnicky.
State Constitutional Amendment: Also on the ballot is an amendment to the state constitution that would require a three-fifths majority for any government body to change its pension system. Both conservative and liberal lobbying groups have lined up against this amendment, saying it's bad policy and doesn't address the problems with the state's pension burdens.
Two congressional races in northern Illinois are must-watch contests. Democrat Tammy Duckworth's bid to unseat Rep. Joe Walsh, a Tea Party favorite, in the north suburbs has drawn a lot national attention and out-of-district financial support. And in the west suburbs, Rep. Judy Biggert is trying to stay in the House and fend off Bill Foster, a former one-term congressman trying to return to Congress, but the latest polling shows them in a dead heat.
Republican Judy Biggert is running neck and neck against Bill Foster in the newly drawn 11th District. Biggert, who currently represents the 3rd Congressional District, is seeking an eighth term. Former Congressman Foster represented the 14th District from 2008 to 2010. A recent poll showed Foster with a slight edge heading into election day.
Hultgren currently represents the 14th District in Congress and seeking his second term in office. He has the endorsements of the Daily Herald, the Northwest Herald and the Chicago Tribune. This is Anderson's first time running for elected office. He is a retired assistant director at the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center at the University of Loyola in Chicago.