Contested races set in several DuPage County towns

Updated 11/23/2020 9:03 PM

The stage is set for a contested mayoral race in Aurora, where incumbent Richard Irvin will face two challengers in the spring municipal election.

A weeklong filing period ended Monday in the state's second-largest city, as well as in Naperville, Wheaton and Downers Grove.


Contested races have emerged in each of those DuPage County towns. But with no more than four candidates seeking any one municipal post, a Feb. 23 primary does not appear to be necessary.

Mayoral and city council hopefuls in towns that aren't eligible for primaries will not begin turning in their nominating petitions to city clerks until Dec. 14. The local election is April 6.

Here's a look at the candidate field so far:


Nobody new has come forward for the Aurora mayoral post since Irvin, Alderman Judd Lofchie and John Laesch filed their paperwork Nov. 16.

Irvin was first elected in 2017 after serving 10 years on the city council as an alderman at large.

"I ran for mayor four years ago to partner with our community to build Aurora together by ensuring safe neighborhoods, attracting economic development and supporting our schools to guarantee great education. That still holds true today," Irvin said in an email statement. "During my administration Aurora has become more prosperous in the last four years than in the last four decades. I look forward to the next four years to continue what we've started."

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Lofchie said he is running for mayor because, "while $1.1 billion in debt, Aurora has increased the budget by $40 million."

"I would stop wasteful spending," Lofchie said in an email statement, "while prioritizing jobs and people."

He said he would use experience of bringing in businesses to Aurora and creating jobs "to help keep a lid on property taxes."

Laesch, a union carpenter, is a former East Aurora school board member who once ran for Congress.

"As an environmentalist, community activist, veteran, and union carpenter I am running to be a strong voice for all Aurorans," he said in an email statement. "I want Aurora to be a green city, create better-paying jobs, and reduce crime. The City of Lights can be a beacon of hope for the rest of the nation."

Four people have filed for the alderman-at-large seat: Ron Woerman, Brooke Shanley, Raymond Hull and Joseph Grisson III.

In Ward 4, Alderman William Donnell faces a challenge from John Bell. Alderman Scheketa Hart-Burns and Saul Fultz are seeking the Ward 7 seat, while Arjun Nair and Shweta Baid are running in Ward 10.


Alderman Juany Garza will be unopposed in her bid to be reelected in Ward 2, as will Ward 9 Alderman Edward Bugg.


Eleven candidates are vying for four open seats on the Naperville City Council, sending the race straight to the April 6 election.

Councilmen John Krummen and Benny White are both seeking reelection to a 4-year term. Incumbent Kevin Coyne recently announced he will not be running again, while Councilwoman Judith Brodhead has reached her term limit.

Krummen and five newcomers will be placed into a lottery to determine whose name will appear first on the spring ballot.

Candidates who submitted nominating petitions by 8 a.m. Nov. 16 -- the first day of filing -- include Krummen, Naperville Unit District 203 board member Paul Leong; Sister Cities Commission member Vasavi Chakka; attorney Ian Holzhauer, chairman of the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce board; former Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Jennifer Bruzan Taylor; and U.S. Navy Reserve retiree Jim Haselhorst, a 2015 mayoral candidate.

White and Historic Preservation Commissioner Mark Urda both filed just before the deadline Monday, meaning they will be entered into a separate lottery to determine who will appear last on the ballot.

Candidate petitions also were submitted by Allison Longenbaugh later in the day Nov. 16, Vincent Ory on Thursday, and Lucy Chang Evans on Friday. They are not eligible for the Dec. 1 lottery and will appear in the order in which their petitions were received.

Seventeen candidates -- or one more than four times the number of seats available -- would have had to file to trigger a primary.


One of four available city council seats representing Wheaton's four voting districts will be contested this spring.

In the south district, Bill Nieman filed Nov. 16 to claim the first spot on the ballot, followed by Mark Yetsky. Resident Scott Weller has since officially joined the race.

Lynn Robbins, who in 2019 was appointed to a 2-year term representing the west district, filed to retain the seat. And incumbent Michael Barbier is seeking reelection in the east district.

Scott Brown filed to run for the north district seat, currently held by Christopher Zaruba. He and south district incumbent John Rutledge did not file nominating papers by Monday's deadline.

Downers Grove

Two incumbents and four challengers are vying for three available seats on the Downers Grove village council.

Commissioner Margaret "Marge" Earl, who was first appointed in 2016, filed nominating petitions Nov. 16, as did Andrew Pelloso, Chris Gilmartin and Danny Glover, owner of Skuddlebutts Pizza & Catering.

Incumbent Greg Hose and resident Tammi Karam submitted paperwork Monday.

• Daily Herald staff writer Susan Sarkauskas contributed to this report.

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