Monday, January 19, 2009

Muncipal Filing Update from the Daily Herald

Wauconda Mayor Salvatore Saccomanno is seeking a second term - but two opponents stepped into his path.

Challengers Thomas Larkin and Roger Wojcicki are set to run against Saccomanno, who was elected to the town's highest office in 2005. All three men filed candidate petitions at village hall Monday, the first day to submit such paperwork for the April 7 consolidated election.

The Wauconda race won't be the only mayoral contest in Lake County. Multiple candidates also filed for the post in Fox Lake, Hainesville, Round Lake and other towns.

Races for village boards, school boards, library boards and township boards are among those that also will be decided.

Many government offices - especially schools - were closed Monday because of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, so many candidates won't be able to file until today.

In Wauconda, Saccomanno said he's seeking re-election because he has more to accomplish as mayor.

"I had a great start in my first four years ... and I want to be a part of seeing it through," he said.

Wojcicki narrowly lost a bid for the Wauconda village board in 2007. He's now running for mayor because he believes Wauconda needs new leadership.

Larkin served on the Wauconda Unit District 118 school board in the 1980s, but has never run for village office.

"I never thought I had to until now," said Larkin, who cited the need for the village to be more fiscally responsible as his chief issue.

Late last year, Wauconda Trustee Mark Knigge said he planned to challenge Saccomanno for mayor, but Knigge did not file paperwork Monday.

The deadline for candidate petitions in any of the races to be decided in April is Monday, Jan. 26.

Elsewhere in Lake County, incumbent Hainesville Mayor Ted Mueller and former mayor Linda Soto filed Monday for that post. Mueller is seeking a third term; Soto preceded Mueller as mayor.

In Fox Lake, incumbent Mayor Cindy Irwin is facing a challenge from trustee and longtime political opponent Ed Bender. Irwin and Bender are leading full slates of candidates for the clerk's post and three trustee slots.

Full slates also filed paperwork in Round Lake. Mayor Bill Gentes, who recently lost a bid for the state Senate, will lead a team against mayoral challenger James Dietz and his slate.

Mayoral challengers also are surfacing in other communities for the first time in decades.

In Libertyville, attorney and former village trustee Terry Weppler is challenging incumbent Jeff Harger, who is seeking a second four-year term. The post hasn't been contested in 20 years.

And in nearby Mettawa, fights for the mayor's office and village board may be among the first in the tiny village's roughly 50-year history. At the top, longtime Mayor Barry MacLean is facing a challenge from resident Jess Ray.

The driving issues for Ray and his slate of challengers are village board actions involving the land sale and approval of a Costco store near the Tri-State Tollway.

Mayoral battles didn't erupt in every Lake County village, however. For example, Mundelein Mayor Kenneth H. Kessler was the only person to file for that post Monday. Likewise, Rhett Taylor was the only person who submitted mayoral paperwork on the first day in Grayslake. He's a trustee now.

Incumbent Grayslake Mayor Tim Perry is not seeking re-election. Trustee Ron Jarvis had declared his candidacy last year but has not made it official.

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