As we head into the final mid-term stretch, I’m getting a bit tired of those folks who cynically claim that all of our public servants come from the same self-serving stock. I know it takes some effort to ferret them out, but there truly are some stellar elected officials in Illinois who do bear noting.
So, before that election day bell rings, let’s take a final shot at considering the good guys on the ballot!
1. Kane County Treasurer Dave Rickert
Dave does such a great job that one of my bevy of attorneys specifically called to extol his vast political virtue. Apparently, the property tax lines were out the door that day and my attorney was quite impressed that Dave came out to help his team make short work of the payment process.
You’ve never read about any problems in the Treasurer’s office because there haven’t been any. And the staff is always friendly and helpful despite the daunting task of collecting property taxes from people who’d rather be going to the dentist.
Normally, I’d be hesitant to support a candidate who’s seeking his fifth term, but Dave refuses to give in to any sort of entitlement mentality and if it ain’t broke…
2. Kane County Board Member John Martin
John is smart, he’s politically savvy, he doesn’t fall for partisan BS, he doesn’t take the gig personally, and he gets along with every other board member. He’s willing to put the required time and effort into a part-time job really isn’t, too! His district is lucky to have him.
3. Kane County Board Member Kurt Kojzarek
My occasional former radio show co-host has done such a great job he clearly deserves a third term. All of the adjectives attached to John Martin also apply to Kurt, who’s successfully chaired the all-important development committee and, as his campaign slogan goes, he truly has been “A Voice of Reason” on a frequently fractious board.
You know you’re doing well when your opponent co-opts your platform plank for plank. Some savvy folks say Kurt would be the logical choice to succeed Chairman Chris Lauzen and I would tend to agree with them.
4. Judge John Barsanti
You know my disdain for many 16th Circuit judges, but I have absolutely no problem voting “yes” to retain John. We discussed many difficult issues during his tenure as Kane County State’s Attorney and I was always impressed by his thoughtful approach to a very difficult job.
It’s also important to note his Illinois State Bar Association’s 100 “legal ability” rating. That means 148 of his Kane County peers gave him a perfect score.
5. Judges Clint Hull and Rene Cruz
They may be running unopposed, but that doesn’t mean I won’t check off those boxes when voting later today. Their ISBA ratings are excellent, they understand exactly what wearing the black robe means, and they never forget that, in the end, they serve the people.
They’re also very active in the community, which includes speaking to middle and high school students about the dangers of texting the wrong kind of photographs and all the other pitfalls of modern technology.
6. Don DeWitte
Don and I share a keen perception of the obvious which has led to quite a fascinating friendship. Some GOP folks say he’s not pure enough to be sent to Springfield, but my fervent belief is that we need more general assembly Republicans who understand that stomping your feet and holding your breath never accomplishes anything.
Don will be exactly the kind of guy who can work with the Democratic supermajority to actually get things done.
7. Ron Hain
Ron has more Sheriffing capacity in the tip of his left little finger than Don Kramer has in his entire body. And he would’ve showed up at Delnor, too!
Ron has concrete plans and programs to bring the kind of respectability back to the office that was the norm under former Sheriff Pat Perez. I particularly like his anti-recidivism rehab and jobs for felons efforts because jailing folks is utterly ineffective and incredibly costly.
Too often we have to choose between the lesser of two candidate evils. This is not one of those cases. Hain is the exponentially better choice.
8. Treasurer Michael Frerichs
He’s a good guy who runs an efficient office while always looking out for the people of Illinois. He’s certainly earned a second term.
I’ll see you at the polling place!