Some DuPage Republicans holding township primaries Feb. 28
Democrats and Republicans in townships across much of DuPage County held caucuses in early December to pick their parties' nominees for posts in the April 4 election.
But Republicans in Naperville, Wayne and Winfield townships broke with decades of tradition when they opted out of the caucuses, where a relatively small number of people come together on a winter night to slate candidates.
Instead, they're holding primary elections Feb. 28 to pick GOP candidates for township supervisor, trustee, assessor, clerk and highway commissioner. The winners will advance to the April 4 election.
"A caucus disenfranchises the voter" by focusing mainly on party insiders, said Jerry Marchese, Wayne Township Republican Organization chairman. "In a primary, everyone has the right to vote."
Winfield Township GOP Chairman Burt Minor said many who participated in the caucus four years ago were township employees, elected officials -- and their friends and family members.
"All the insiders are upset about having a primary," Minor said. "For the first time ever, they have to run for their position (on the Republican ticket)."
DuPage County Election Commission officials said the primaries could end up costing taxpayers $160,000 but that steps are being taken to reduce that cost.
Here's a look at the candidates on the Republican primary ballots:
The supervisor, clerk and four trustee seats all are contested in GOP primary. Winners face Democratic opposition on April 4.
The two posts without a Republican primary opponent -- highway commissioner and assessor -- will face off April 4 against a Democrat on the ballot seeking the highway post and a write-in hoping to become assessor.
Naperville Township Supervisor Rachel Ossyra of Aurora is seeking her second term. The international business manager and mechanical engineer is being challenge by Walter Reilly, a retired corporate executive from Naperville, who has held several volunteer posts and served as a trustee and park board member in Clarendon Hills.
The winner will face Democratic supervisor candidate Eddie Bedford.
For township clerk, incumbent Barry Greenberg is facing a challenge from attorney Tom Laz. The winner will face Democrat Nate Sippel.
The race for four township trustee seats is a crowded field of 10 in the Republican primary alone. Candidates are incumbents Kerry Malm and Paul Santucci as well as Heather Bejda, Kurt Dorr, Cathy Hanzelin, Chris Jacks, Ernest Kovacs, William Lucek, Dan Porter and Jim Ruhl.
The top four vote-getters will advance to face a full slate of four Democratic candidates that features Loretta Burke, John Waller, Glenn Jones and Julie Federico.
For highway commissioner, longtime officeholder Stan Wojtasiak is unopposed in the primary after potential challenger Carl Schultz withdrew citing progress toward consolidating the road district with the Lisle Township road district. Democrat Richard Novinger awaits Wojtasiak in the April 4 election.
For assessor, Warren Dixon III does not face a primary opponent after potential challenger Gary Vician withdrew, nor does he face a Democratic opponent in April. But county election commission records show Vician declared his intent to run in April as a write-in, the only candidate who did so in Naperville Township.
The hottest GOP primary contest in Wayne Township is the race for supervisor.
Former state Rep. Randy Ramey and fellow Republican Art Pierscionek are vying for the post. Whoever wins isn't expected to have a Democratic opponent in April.
Pierscionek is a Bartlett resident who works as an IT consultant. If elected, he wants to do an evaluation of township services to determine which ones are still needed and explore ways to reduce costs.
Ramey, of Carol Stream, said his goals include keeping township government effective and efficient. He also wants to educate the community more about everything the township has to offer.
Republicans Mike Mascow and Gregory Tamburello are vying for the nomination to challenge Highway Commissioner Martin McManamon, who is a Democrat.
Meanwhile, five candidates are running for four township trustee seats. They are Daniel Brinkman, Tom Feltes, Jackie Hayden, William "Bump" Waghorne and Nic Zito.
Incumbent Assessor Michael Musson and township clerk candidate Brandi Fike Ramundo are running unopposed.
No Democrats are seeking office in Winfield Township in April. The primary will decide who represents the township for the next four years.
Incumbent Supervisor Dona Smith finds herself in a four-person race for the GOP nomination. The challengers are Robert Greer, Bonnie Hollingsworth and Dave Tornga.
In the race for township clerk, incumbent Clifford Brown is trying to fend off a challenge from Nicole Prater.
Six candidates are vying for four township trustee seats. They are Barbara Bernacki Alekna, Michael Guglielmi, Zachary Halley, Mary Ann Manna, Gerald Ruzicka and Donald Voelz.
Township Assessor Mark Malay and Highway Commissioner John Dusza are running unopposed.