Primary in Kane County: Races, referendums to watch this week
Kane County Republican voters will decide Tuesday whether longtime Kane County Clerk John "Jack" Cunningham should be their nominee for another term in office.
Democrats will pick one of two men -- one just 21 years old -- to carry the party's banner in the state House 83rd District race. Incumbent Rep. Keith Wheeler is unopposed in the Republican primary.
Residents of the North Aurora Fire Protection District will determine whether to build a replacement fire station. And those living in two fire districts will choose whether to borrow money to build new stations.
Incumbent John "Jack" Cunningham of Aurora has been the county's clerk since 2002. The 83-year-old has been a Republican committeeman since 1960. He ran unsuccessfully four times to be the county's state's attorney in the 1980s and 1990.
He is opposed by Douglas Warlick, 65, a Geneva attorney. Warlick supports term limits and has pledged to serve only two terms. He has criticized how Cunningham ran the 2020 election, including the use of a machine to check mail-in ballots for missing or invalid signatures. Cunningham said it would have taken 20,000 man-hours to process the mail-in ballots by hand.
Cunningham said there are projects he wants to see to completion, including opening a satellite office in Elgin and implementing new voting equipment.
The clerk's office is responsible for running elections; maintaining birth, death and marriage records; maintaining the county government's records; and calculating property tax extensions.
Arad Boxenbaum, 21, of Geneva is running against Matt Hanson, 49, of Aurora for the Democratic nomination for the 83rd District seat, which runs from St. Charles to Oswego.
The winner will face Rep. Keith Wheeler of Oswego in the fall.
Boxenbaum said he became involved in politics in his teen years to do something to prevent gun violence in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. He has worked on several political campaigns and for a congressman.
Hanson, an engineer for the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad, served two years on the Kane County Board. He said one of his priorities is to find ways to avoid adding to middle-class taxpayers' burden, such as by closing loopholes in corporate taxes.
The Fox River and Countryside Fire/Rescue District is asking permission to borrow $13 million to pay off existing debt; buy equipment; and put aside money for the construction of a third station. The district serves residents in Campton Hills, Wayne and unincorporated St. Charles Township in Kane and DuPage counties.
The North Aurora Fire Protection District is seeking the OK to borrow $10 million to build a replacement fire station and equip it.
And the Hampshire Fire Protection District is asking to borrow $4.5 million to build and equip a fire station.
They will also decide whether to let the district increase operational property taxes by as much as 13%. The district is in Kane and DeKalb counties.
Voters can take a nonpartisan ballot to vote on the referendums if they don't want to take a political-party ballot.