Who are the DuPage County Democratic Candidates on Your Ballot in November 2018?
The Democratic Party of Milton Township put together this guide for voters that documents the job these Democratic county candidates are seeking and then asked them to tell why they are the best candidate for those jobs.
Office: DuPage County Board Chairman
The County Board Chair:
- Serves as the chief executive officer of DuPage County government, supervising the implementation of the County Board’s policies and programs
- Chairs County Board meetings, prepares the agenda, schedules meetings of the Board
- Recommends Board members’ committee assignments
- Prepares the proposed annual budget
- Appoints members to numerous county advisory boards and commissions
- Is Liquor Control Commissioner for unincorporated areas of DuPage County
- Is a fiscal position, in charge of the county’s annual budget of $440 million dollars
- Decides how tax dollars are spent and when budgeting, decides which programs, departments and social services take priority.
Candidate: Lynn LaPlante
Lynn LaPlante is a community activist and leader from Glen Ellyn, where she lives with her husband and four children. As Chairman of the DuPage County Board, she will balance the budget in a way that is fiscally fair and financially equitable, without cutting services to the least among us.
She will be a passionate protector of all DuPage County residents, prioritizing people over the bottom line. She will be transparent, ethical and honest when serving her constituents.
Currently, only one out of eighteen County Board members is a Democrat. If elected, she will be the first female and Democrat chair ever elected in DuPage County!
Lynn is a proud Union Member: Chicago Federation of Musicians, Local 10-208 AFM. For more information, please visit her at HelpLynnWin.org and @HelpLynnWin on all social media platforms. It is time for a county board to reflect the true DuPage. It is time for a fresh perspective: to turn away from career politicians and return our county board back to the community.
Office: DuPage County Board
The DuPage County Board:
- Holds all the powers of the County not assigned to county-wide elected officials or other boards
- Is responsible for the management of County funds and business and also has fiscal and regulatory powers, especially in unincorporated areas
- Sets policy for each department under its control and oversees the daily operations of county government
- Is the only body in the county that has the power to hold and dispose of property, make contracts, levy taxes, make appropriations, approve payments and otherwise manage the funds and business of the county
- Is responsible for providing and keeping in repair the county courthouse and jail; for appointing certain county officers; for the granting of licenses; and for improving county and state highways
- Is responsible for communicating and interacting with state and local county-wide elected officials
- Operates on a committee system. Items concerning county government are discussed by standing and special committees, which then refer the items to the Board as a whole with recommendations for passage or denial.
Candidate: Liz Chaplin (incumbent) – County Board District 2
Liz is currently the only Democrat on the DuPage County Board.
Since 2001 I have been advocating on behalf of the citizens of DuPage County and I would love to continue doing so. I have relentlessly challenged back room deal making, excessive salaries and benefits for elected officials, lucrative contracts for the associates of connected insiders, and the practice of allowing campaign contributions from vendors doing business with the County.
My philosophy is that government needs to be frugal and fiscally responsible while providing needed services, which include public safety, quality infrastructure, and human services. When tax dollars are spent lining the pockets of those connected with the insider elite, government cannot afford to do what needs to be done. This is what motivates me to continue my efforts on the DuPage County Board.
Candidate: Mary FitzGerald Ozog – County Board District 4 (vote for two)
Mary FitzGerald Ozog is the current Board Vice President and an 8-year member of the Glenbard Township High School District 87 Board. The District 87 Board manages a budget of almost $150Million of taxpayer funds, serving over 8000 DuPage students.
Mary graduated from the University of Michigan and studied Urban Planning at the University of Illinois. She then worked for the CTA and Metra. Mary and her husband have 4 children and have lived in DuPage District 4 for 32 years. She served for 12 years on the Glen Ellyn Architectural Review Commission and the Zoning Board of Appeals.
On the County Board Mary will focus on budget priorities, the opioid crisis, DuPage transportation issues, and transparency by increasing public access to board meetings. Mary won the Democratic Primary by a decisive 16% margin, the highest vote count of all 9 candidates in the primary. The Daily Herald endorsed Mary, stating, “Ozog’s experience makes her a clear choice.”
Candidate: Hadiya Afzal – County Board District 4 (vote for two)
I’m an 18-year-old college student who is running for the DuPage County Board because there’s currently a lack of diverse, young voices that will fight for progressive policies that will help build a better DuPage County for every person in it.
I’m an elected precinct committee person, a former election judge, and former intern for the DuPage Democratic Party where I worked on a summer issue canvass, speaking to constituents across the county about their local concerns. My issue-based campaign platform is directly drawn from those concerns, with prominent points like expanding public transportation, streamlining county spending, and implementing progressive environmental policies.
I’m also pledging to hold town halls as a Board member with constituents to create a dialogue around local politics, to both receive constituent feedback on issues and to inform them of current County Board proceedings.
Candidate: Sheila Rutledge – County Board District 6 (vote for two)
I have been a resident and business owner in DuPage Co. for 25 years. I also founded a second business in 2015. I have been an active member of my community during that time giving time to Warrenville Chamber of Commerce, DuPage Co. Forest Preserve and many referendum and school issues facing our community.
Since my commitment to run I have been the only candidate running that has been attending most of the committee and board meetings so I will be ready to step into the role on day one if I am fortunate to be elected.
My goals are to limit the money our county gives to the politically connected and to support policies that help those challenged by current policies that limit support for those most in need. I will also pledge to follow the budget priorities board members are tasked with.
Candidate: Erica Green – County Board District 6 (vote for two)
Erica Green is the daughter of a computer scientist and engineer. She grew up in DuPage County and is now a licensed health provider and certified drug counselor with a masters in public health. She has experience with health delivery systems here and abroad. Green also has founded a non-profit to offer innovative approaches to address our current health system inconsistencies. Understanding the struggles of her patients and listening to the concerns of voters inspire her to run for office today. She is not your average health provider and candidate. Green for County Board means out-of-the-box know-how for a stronger healthier community.
Office: Forest Preserve District President of DuPage County
The Forest Preserve District President:
- Is the chief executive officer of the District and is responsible for supervising the implementation of the District’s Board’s policies and programs
- Chairs Forest Preserve District Board meetings, prepares agenda, schedules meetings of the Board, and prepares the proposed annual budget
Candidate: Daniel Hebreard
Daniel Hebreard has been a lifelong DuPage County resident, growing up in Downers Grove. He lived in Aurora and now calls Woodridge home. Daniel went to the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, graduating with honors in Parks and Recreation Mgmt. He started his career at two local Recreation Departments then secured a job as Ranger at the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, his career for the past thirteen years. He earned his Master’s in Business Administration from Benedictine University. Daniel married his fabulous wife Donna in 2003 and they have two children.
He believes in conservation, public service, & improving the world around us now. He will slash bloated commissioner pay & benefits and put the money into preserve improvement to improve amenities, connect more trails & upgrade technologies to connect people to nature.
Office: DuPage County Clerk
The County Clerk:
- Is the Clerk of the DuPage County Board, the Secretary of the Emergency Telephone System Board, and the Secretary of the Liquor Control Commission
- Attends and keeps a record of the proceedings of the County Board and attests to all ordinances and resolutions
- Warrants the County Treasurer to pay all county bills
- Issues many different licenses: marriage, civil union, business, liquor, raffle, tobacco, amusement device and notary public; furnishes copies of birth, death, marriage and civil union certificates; and files and records economic interest statements of all officials in DuPage County
- Plays a vital role in the taxation process by compiling the up-to-date list of all county parcels of property for tax assessment, calculates the amount of tax for each parcel and certifies those amounts to the Treasurer for collection
Candidate: Jean Kaczmarek
Jean is a 13-year DuPage government watchdog without pay. Knows more about DuPage County government than any outsider. Jean has been a property tax payer in Glen Ellyn for 30 years.
Jean’s passion is for an open, fair, secure and reliable electoral process. She’s responsible for noteworthy reform at DuPage’s Election Commission. Next year, elections will be returned to the County Clerk’s office and she’ll be ready to hit the ground running.
Jean is an ordinary citizen and political outsider who vows to end the County Clerk office’s outrageous culture of double-dipping pensions, of patronage hiring and promotions, of nepotism, of campaigning for “the boss” by staff, and of political contributions from county vendors.
Jean does her homework, rocks the establishment with facts, figures and common sense, challenges improper procedures and unethical practices, courageously speaks truth to power, and impacts positive change.
Office: DuPage County Sheriff
- Is the chief law enforcement officer in DuPage County
The Sheriff’s Office:
- Directly serves the unincorporated areas of the county, containing a population of approximately 104,000
- Offers many county-wide services and initiatives, including the administration of the County Jail
Candidate: Greg Whalen
Greg Whalen, 35, is a Clarendon Hills resident who is married with 5 children. Greg has over 15 years of public safety experience, is certified as Police Officer, Firefighter and Paramedic and is currently a Lieutenant with the Village of Glencoe Department of Public Safety.
Greg is a graduate of Northwestern University Center for Public Safety School of Police Staff & Command, has a Master’s Degree in Public Safety Administration and Bachelor’s Degree in Fire Science Management.
Greg spent six years on a multi-jurisdictional SWAT team as the Team Leader of the Tactical Emergency Medical Support and Weapons of Mass Destruction Response Elements.
Careful section of your next sheriff, the chief law enforcement officer of the county, is imperative as we must ensure the rights of all are safeguarded, strong working relationships are developed, and integrity is a top priority.
Office: Judge 18th Judicial Circuit Court
Circuit Court judges:
- Are the first step to changing and correcting laws in the County, State and United States.” For example, JANUS V. AFSCME, started out in an Illinois court room and is now at the United States Supreme Court to decide union rights.
- Preside over a wide variety of civil and criminal cases, ranging from small claim actions, traffic violations, and domestic relations to criminal felonies
- Appoint associate judges to the Circuit Court
- Can enter orders that will eventually impact citizens, and the judges can move up to become Supreme Court justices.
Candidate: Jeffrey Jacobson – Fawell vacancy
Jeffrey Jacobson has been an attorney for over 25 years and has been rated as Highly Qualified (highest rating) as a judicial candidate by the DuPage County Bar Association. As an Administrative Law Judge for IDES, he ruled on over 10,000 cases impacting families and businesses. He is the treasurer of Inns of Court; an invitation only organization of judges and attorneys in DuPage. He brings experience and fairness to the court.
He lives in Downers Grove with his wife, Heidi, and his four children. Past president of Downers Grove North High School PTO. Past vice-president of a PTA. Volunteered to be kids’ baseball and basketball coach for the YMCA and Downers Grove park district, a basketball coach for a middle school, and Butterfield swim team Meet Director. He enjoys playing hockey, woodworking, gardening and cooking.
Candidate: Linda Davenport – Creswell vacancy
Judge Linda Davenport believes she is the most experienced candidate running for the DuPage Circuit Court. With almost 12 years on the bench, Judge Davenport has established a reputation as an intelligent, dedicated and deeply fair-minded judge. She has spent almost 40 years of her life at law, working hard to make sure that her clients, and those litigants who appear in her courtroom receive the most just treatment under the law.
Prior to becoming a judge, she ran her own law firm with her husband and she was the first woman president of the DuPage County Bar Association and spent 8 years as a member of the Wheaton City Council. As a Circuit Judge, Judge Davenport will make sure that only the most qualified and experienced attorneys get appointed to the bench, and that they reflect the community they serve.