Three Will County Board candidates found themselves campaigning on their home turf during the Grand Haven active adult community’s Sept. 20 election event.
Republicans Liz Collins and Tim Kraulidis and Democrat Mark Ferry are running for the county’s new District 13 seats.
Last summer, the current board voted on what was called a “compromise” reapportionment plan, which split Will County into 13 districts, instead of the previous nine, and reduce the number of board members by one.
The new District 13 includes the Grand Haven community, along with portions of the Lakewood Falls subdivision in unincorporated Will County, Carillon and parts of Joliet, Crest Hill and Plainfield.
Democrat Ferry, a Plainfield Township resident for 36 years, was the first to speak.
As a county board member, Ferry said he would support programs to create jobs.
“I would like people to think of Will County as ‘Will Work County,’” Ferry said.
Asked about his vision for the future, Ferry said one of his top priorities is to bring infrastructure to the state’s fastest-growing county.
“We can’t keep going and wear stuff out and not fix it,” he said. Ferry also said he is a supporter of the Illiana Expressway project, a proposed Illlinois-to-Indiana route.
According to his campaign website, Ferry has worked at the Citgo Lemont Refinery for 20 years and is a member of the United Steelworkers Union.
Collins, the current Plainfield Area Chamber of Commerce president and CEO and former Plainfield Township clerk, found herself right at home — literally.
A Grand Haven resident, Collins has served on the community’s Townhome Committee for two years.
“I felt being a voice for us was the next step at the Will County Board,” Collins said, adding she was spurred to run for office by the state of the economy.
She touted a platform of supporting local businesses, offering companies incentives to hire new employees and working to keep people in their homes.
“We have to help our neighbors and do something about that,” Collins said, adding she has seen friends and family members struggling to save their homes from foreclosure.
“We have to do all these things and do it working within a budget,” Collins said.
Republican Kraulidis called himself a “refugee of Cook County,” saying he moved to Will County to escape “the Chicago machine.”
On Sept. 10, he was one of 39 area candidates who signed a declaration of Independence from “the tentacles of Cook County and Chicago politics" during an event at the Will County Courthouse.
On Thursday, Kraulidis spoke against a new Congressional map that shifted several former Cook County representatives into Will County communities.
“What do they have to do with Will County?” he asked, adding, “It’s happening on the county board districts … What they can’t do on election day they are going to try to do with redistricting.”
Kraulidis, a Joliet resident, explained his reason for seeking office.
“Plato said if we refuse to get involved in politics then we’ll be ruled by our inferiors,” he said. “And that’s where I think we’re at right now.”