CANDIDATE HIGHLIGHTS

Democrats in DuPage bring high caliber expertise to the ballot

Judicial Candidates

Mary Kay O'Brien

for Illinois Supreme Court

Mary Kay O’Brien is an experienced and highly qualified judge with deep roots in the community and a long history of public service. Justice O’Brien has served on the 3rd District Appellate Court for nearly 18 years. She has heard more than 4,500 cases and served on numerous committees, including the Supreme Court Rules, Legislative, and Appellate Court Access to Justice Committees, the Illinois Courts Commission, and the Lawyers Assistance Program, among others. Prior to becoming a judge, O’Brien served as a state legislator from 1996-2003. Despite facing an incumbent, O’Brien ran to fight for working families and commonsense values. Her victory secured the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives. While serving in the General Assembly, O’Brien chaired the Judiciary Committee on Criminal Law where she presided over death penalty reform and fought to protect children from violent offenders and expand the statute of limitations for sexual assault against minors.

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Sonni Choi Williams

for Appellate Court Judge

Sonni Choi Williams is the Democratic candidate for Judge of the Appellate Court , 3rd District that covers DuPage, Will, Kankakee, Iroquois, Grundy, LaSalle, and Bureau. Sonni has over 23 years of broad legal experience in state and federal trial and appellate courts including before the Illinois Supreme Court. Sonni has been a champion for improving equal access to justice and a tireless supporter of diversity, equity and inclusion. As an immigrant who overcame the obstacles of poverty, Sonni offers a unique perspective that will move the 3rd District Appellate Court forward. For details of her qualifications and endorsements, visit vote4sonni.com and vote for Sonni Choi Williams on November 8th!

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Mia McPherson

for Circuit Court Judge

Mia has over 23 years of legal experience as both a defense attorney and a prosecutor. She has tried hundreds of cases before judges and juries. Mia understands the importance of upholding individual rights, and will give everyone from all backgrounds impartiality and her full attention on their day in court

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Jill Otte

for Circuit Court Judge

My name is Jill Otte and I’m running for DuPage County Circuit Court Judge. I have been a public servant and litigator my entire 28 year legal career, both as a criminal prosecutor and a civil defense attorney. I have worked at the Illinois Attorney General’s Office for 22 years, currently serving as the Chief of the Workers’ Compensation Bureau in Chicago. I tried hundreds of cases in Kane County criminal courtrooms (Traffic/Misdemeanor, DUI, Mental Health, Felony, and Felony Drug) and civil courtrooms throughout Illinois (DuPage, Kane, Cook, Ottawa, Kankakee, Winnebago, the Illinois Court of Claims, and the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission). To learn more about me and how you can become involved in my campaign please check out my website: https://www.jill4judge.com/

The only judge The DuPage Democrats are endorsing for retention is Bonnie Wheaton.

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County-wide Candidates

Jean Kaczmarek

County Clerk

An election watchdog since 2005, Jean Kaczmarek won election in 2018, and began to work towards free and fair elections. Her office has been instrumental during the 2020 COVID crisis in informing the pubic of different ways to vote safely, and ensuring the public's confidence in voting by mail with BallotTrax. 

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Dan Hebreard

Forest Preserve Commissioner 

My election as a DuPage Forest Preserve Commissioner continues to be a dream come true. The stewardship of our natural resources and the preservation of the environment has been and will always be my life-long passion. Climate change impacts the entire community and as we look forward together, I am proud to be the representative for District 2. To forward the good work we have started, please help us maintain our majority on the board and build a greener DuPage.

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Don Potoczny

for Treasurer

Don Potoczny is a former army colonel who has led diverse teams to solve some of the world’s most difficult challenges. His long service has forged a character we can trust. Since leaving active duty, Don has been teaching at a public high school. He has also led several local nonprofit organizations. As a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), Don has the skills we need now in the treasurer’s office

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Deb Conroy

for County Board Chair

Deborah Conroy is a member of the Illinois House of Representatives, representing District 46. Deb has served her district from January 2013 to the present. She is a former Elmhurst District 205 School Board Member. 

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County Board, 1st District 

Michael Childress

for County Board, Dist. 1

I have been a resident here in DuPage County for over 40 years. I have come to know the great people that live here as well as what they have to say and how they feel about the current status of DuPage. I've heard a lot of demand for change and I'm here to bring it to you in the exact way that you want it.

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Mike Murray

for Forest Preserve, Dist. 1

My name is Michael Murray and I am a 36 year resident in DuPage County. I live in Roselle, IL with my wife Barbara and have been married to for 47 years. I am the father of 3 and grandfather of 7. I have worked as a Project Manager for the construction of commercial, industrial and government buildings.

My main goals as your Forest Preserve Commissioner are:

  • Ensure the DuPage County Forest Preserve District has a balanced budget without raising taxes.

  • Enact a community council with representatives including elected officials, and organizations from across District 1.

  • Encourage more family friendly events and facilities to allow citizens to better enjoy our forest preserves.

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County Board, 2nd District 

Yeena Yoo

for DuPage County Board, Dist. 2

As a career legal aid attorney, who specialized in family law and domestic violence litigation, Yeena has been successful in connecting low-income clients, working families, and domestic violence survivors to resources; advocating for their interests; and negotiating agreements in contentious circumstances. If elected to the County Board, she will do the same for DuPage residents — she brings the same commitment to service and outcomes that she has brought to her clients. Yeena will also come to the Board with her experience as a gun safety advocate and long-time volunteer leader with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense, where she has directed efforts to raise awareness and educate the community on reducing and preventing gun violence. Active in her local community, she was appointed to the Elmhurst Senior Citizens Commission, and serves her second term as an elected Precinct Committeeperson for York Township. Please learn more about Yeena, and why she’s running for DuPage County Board at www.yeenafordupage.com.

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Tina Tyson Dunne

Forest Preserve, Dist. 2

My election as a DuPage Forest Preserve Commissioner continues to be a dream come true. The stewardship of our natural resources and the preservation of the environment has been and will always be my life-long passion. Climate change impacts the entire community and as we look forward together, I am proud to be the representative for District 2. To forward the good work we have started, please help us maintain our majority on the board and build a greener DuPage.

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Liz Chaplin
DuPage County Board, Dist. 2

Liz Chaplin is an ethical and accomplished member of the Board. She has been working hard for you. Liz has an outstanding reputation with her constituents, addressing their concerns and resolving their problems. Her leadership was recognized on the Board in 2020 when she took the helm as County Board Finance Committee Chair and County Board Chair Pro Tem. 

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Paula Deacon Garcia

DuPage County Board, Dist. 2

Paula Deacon Garcia has a proven record of over 35 years working for the people of DuPage County - volunteering, working for the Village of Lisle and the County Board. She has over 10 years of experience as a Certified Floodplain Manager. Paula is a fierce advocate for mental health services, environmental protection, healthcare privacy and rights, and voting access for all. Paula Deacon attends all committee meetings and is proud of her votes to support funding for the secure voting in DuPage and the PADS permanent shelter. Paula was appointed twice to be on the DuPage County Health Board and helped make decisions to guide the county through the Covid-19 pandemic.

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County Board, 3rd District 

Marybeth Carlson

Forest Preserve, Dist. 3

 Marybeth Carlson is concerned about the environment and does more than just talk about it.  She is running a grassroots campaign and bringing together like-minded people who share her vision that the average person can make a difference.  Her yard is a restored city lot that she has worked to [provide a small haven of shelter with food and water for out beleaguered native pollinators-both insects and bird,  Her yard us recognized by the National Wildlife Federation, The Conservation Foundation, Monarch Watch, and other organizations that realize the value of a native area in an urban landscape. An environmentalist all her life Marybeth earned a Bachelors of science degree at the University  of Illinois and spent nearly four decades working in the outdoors.  She needs your help, because together, we can turn the tide and protect our ecosystems.

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Lucy Chang Evans
DuPage County Board, Dist. 3

"Lucy Chang Evans is a former Secret Service agent and a civil engineer. Lucy is running for DuPage County Board because she is driven to public service and expects County Board decisions to meet the triple bottom line: people, planet, and prosperity. A former employee of DuPage County, Lucy was a project engineer in the Stormwater Management Department for more than five years. If elected, she will bring her insider perspective to the board and ask the right questions to ensure the County is working toward long-term goals and spending taxpayer dollars responsibly."

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Amanda Roudebush
DuPage County Board, Dist. 3

Amanda Roudebush is a former public school teacher who is driven to public service. She is a mother of two high schoolers and owns her own small consulting business. She has worked with many of DuPage County's service programs that benefit many of our families. She hopes to reinforce mental health initiatives and other social programs our county offers. She also plans to continue to protect women's health programs in our county.

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Rosemary Spann

for DuPage County Board, Dist. 3

I am Rosemary Spann and I'm not a career politician but someone who genuinely cares about people. My experience as a professional meeting planner with diverse clients has provided the essential tools to navigate the intricacies of public service. I have successfully managed budgets, analytic problem solving, and negotiations. At every level, my experiences are fused with a genuine commitment to strong leadership and collaboration which are of great importance to the future vitality of our communities.

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County Board, 4th District 

Mary Fitzgerald Ozog

DuPage County Boardm Dist. 4

Mary Fitzgerald Ozog was elected to serve on the DuPage County Board on November 6, 2018. Her term expires November 30, 2022. She resides in Glen Ellyn.

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Jeffrey Gahris

Forest Preserve, Dist. 4

Jeff Gahris has the environmental science and engineering experience that makes him qualified for the job. He will effectively pursue trail improvements for better access, more cost-effective solar energy, and natural area restoration projects in the preserves. He will assure that the new wildlife rehabilitation clinic at Willowbrook will be "net zero" energy use. He supports a sustainability plan for the District, public safety, and fiscal responsibility. In short, he wants the District to be a national leader without raising taxes.

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Lynn LaPlante

DuPage County Board, Dist. 4

Lynn is the current serving DuPage County District 4 member, from 2020 to November 30, 2022. She has been involved in community activity for many years, and is a Principal violinist with the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic.

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Shawn Ryan

DuPage County Board, Dist. 4

"I am a retired public school educator and coach who has always been passionate about serving my community. As a longtime resident of DuPage County who cares about the most vulnerable of our neighbors, I am excited to bring my collaborative, commonsense attitude and broad depth of experience to the county Board.  As a County Board member, my top priority will be the safety and security of every county resident. DuPage is for all and we must ensure that all of our neighbors have equal access to necessary County services."

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County Board, 5th District 

Sadia Covert

DuPage County Board, Dist. 5

Sadia Covert is an Incumbent dupage County Board Member, an attorney, a married mother of three, and the co-author is the amendment to the hate crime law. Sadia Covert passed 3 resolutions her first year in office. She has served on 9 committees and has chaired  three. Covert supports investing into mental health care, and assistance for those in need. 

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Dawn DeSart
DuPage County Board, Dist. 5

Dawn DeSart is a five time Emmy award winning journalist, serving on the DuPage County Board since 2018. Dawn also serves as a Commissioner on the DuPage Housing Authority Board, and is chairwoman of the county board’s Legislative Committee. During the pandemic, it was Dawn’s initiative to financially help DuPage County’s small businesses during the lockdown, so a small business relief grant program was developed - Reinvest DuPage - which gave more than $20M to hundreds of small businesses throughout the county with CARES Act and American Rescue Plan money received from the federal government. Through Dawn’s legislative initiatives, Illinois passed a ban on puppy mill sourced animals sold in pet stores; through her public works initiatives, she was instrumental in the county using only union labor for projects; and through her finance initiatives, the county has passed a balanced budget each year of her tenure, and has achieved a AAA bond rating. Dawn also serves on the Naper Pride Board of Directors as an ally, and continues her rewarding work as a journalist in Chicago.

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Barb O'Meara

Forest Preserve, Dist 5

Barb O'Meara is Commissioner District 5 DuPage Forest Preserve, A Naperville Library Board member since 2019 and has a 30 year career in Environmental Health with Illinois Department of Public Health. She has also been an Adjunct professor of Biology with Waubonsee Community College for 12 years.

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County Board, 6th District 

Jaime Ricklefs

DuPage County Board, Dist. 6

As a mother of two young children, I feel an overwhelming desire to work to make sure they inherit a better DuPage County.  To make sure that all residents have the opportunity to thrive.  DuPage has a strong financial foundation which provides an opportunity to invest in its people.  Making sure that DuPage residents have affordable housing can have a generational impact on a family’s and the county’s financial success.  All DuPage residents should feel welcome because it is our diversity that makes us strong.  Each person offers a unique experience and perspective that I value. I want each person to know that they belong here in DuPage County.

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Shiela Rutledge

DuPage County Board, Dist 6

Sheila Rutledge was elected in our 1st "blue wave" in 2018. She chairs the Environmental Committee and advocates for affordable housing, animal rights and economic development as well. As a small business owner she understands the challenges our middle class face and works to make government more helpful for all!

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Greg Schwarze

DuPage County Board, Dist. 6

Hi, I’m Greg Schwarze, your DuPage County Board Member in District 6, where I have lived, worked and raised my family over the last 22 years. I have devoted my life to public service as a long-time union firefighter/paramedic, Village Trustee and safety educator for seniors and school children. I’m running for re-election to continue fighting for workers’ rights, seniors, public safety, the environment and equality for all.  As a County Board member, I’m fortunate to be on several committees which align with my democratic and middle class values including: Health & Human Services (VC), Emergency Telephone System Board (Chair), Judicial & Public Safety, H.O.P.E. Opioid Task Force, Public Transportation, Collective Bargaining, and the Finance Committee where I have ensured a balanced budget and kept DuPage County taxes frozen. I humbly ask for your vote this fall to continue working to make our community a better place for all.

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Erik Spande

for Forest Preserve, Dist. 6

I’m Erik Spande and I’m running for District 6 Forest Preserve Commissioner in the November 2022 election. I’m running for Forest Preserve commissioner to make the forest preserves an even better resource by improving amenities we all enjoy, being a better steward of this environmental treasure, and better managing the revenue entrusted to us by taxpayers. I’ll bring the same can-do spirit of innovation to the Forest Preserve board that I did as Winfield’s mayor, where I was honored to win two regional innovation awards for fixing Winfield’s roads and improving village finances without raising taxes. My background as an environmental scientist with over 30 years experience means I can help the Forest Preserve board use sound science to make better policy decisions to improve our lakes, rivers, forests, and prairies. The Forest Preserve board can do more with less by sharing costs, like I did as Winfield’s mayor when we partnered with the Forest Preserve and DuPage County to build two new trails in Winfield.

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IL State Senators

Laura Ellman

State Senator, 21st Dist.

Laura Ellman has deep ties to the 21st District and wants to put her problem-solving skills in the private sector to work to move Illinois forward.

Laura grew up nearby, in Hanover Park, and graduated from Elgin High School. She has worked all over the district in Lisle, Warrenville, Wheaton, and Naperville. 

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Suzy Glowiak Hilton

State Senator, 24th Dist.

Suzy Glowiak Hilton is a Democratic member of the Illinois Senate from the 24th district. Glowiak Hilton narrowly defeated Republican incumbent Chris Nybo in the 2018 general election. She took office January 9, 2019.

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Lauren "Laurie" Nowak
for State Senator, 24th Dist.

Laurie is running to alleviate pressure on the middle class, working families, and fixed income seniors.  In Springfield, she will scrutinize the spending of taxpayer dollars, demand ethics reform, make smart investments in our communities, and continue to hold politicians accountable.

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Karina Villa

State Senator, 25st Dist.

As an active participant within the community, Senator Villa served as the Vice President of the West Chicago District 33 Board of Education, where she worked to maintain a balanced budget for the school district, while negotiating equitable teacher contracts and providing increased services to students. When Karina was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives in 2018 she used her social work background, leadership, and life experience to ensure effective representation in the 49th District.

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IL State House of Representatives

Terra Costa Howard

State Representative, 42nd Dist.

Terra Costa Howard is a Democratic member of the Illinois House of Representatives for the 48th district. Costa Howard defeated incumbent and House Republican Floor Leader Peter Breen in the 2018 general election and continues to serve today. Prior to her election to the Illinois House of Representatives, she was a member of the Glen Ellyn School District 41 Board of Education and the Glen Ellyn Plan Commission.

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Jenn Ladisch-Douglass

for State Representative, 45th Dist.

After working at a large law firm in Chicago, Jenn started her own firm in 2011. In her decades of practice, Jenn has worked on cases ranging from commercial litigation and bankruptcy to guardianships and transactional real estate. Jenn has taught real estate law for paralegals as an adjunct and has provided hundreds of hours of pro bono legal assistance over the last twenty years. More recently, Jenn has volunteered time to help draft legislation and advocate for affordable medications and healthcare. She uses her decades of experience living with type 1 diabetes and as a cancer survivor to advocate for more affordable and accessible medications and healthcare for the people of Illinois.

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Diane Blair-Sherlock

for State Representative, 46th Dist. 

Diane Blair-Sherlock is a Democrat running for the Illinois House of Representatives in District 46. Diane is running to protect a woman’s right to control her body, stand up for women in the workplace, improve our public schools, strengthen our gun safety laws, and bring good paying jobs back to our area. She is a mother, a lawyer, an advocate for people with disabilities, and comes from a union home. Her husband is a long-time Teamster, and her daughter is a teacher and member of IEA. Diane personally understands the benefits of union membership and is an enthusiastic supporter of worker’s rights across the state. As the mother of two children with disabilities, Diane Blair-Sherlock has never backed down from a challenge. Advocating for those who need our help the most has been her life’s work. Diane knows that we need more people in Springfield who will put community above politics. That’s why Diane Blair-Sherlock is running for State Representative.

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Jackie Williamson

for State Representative, 47th Dist.

Hi! My name is Jackie Williamson, and I am a lifelong resident of Illinois. I grew up in the northwest suburbs and now live in Wheaton with my husband and miniature Dachshund. I graduated from Butler University (go Bulldogs!) with a BA in Music and recently went back to school to receive a certificate in Human Resources Management from College of DuPage.

I have worked in Human Resources for the past five years, and believe my experience and passion for this field will benefit everyone in the 47th district. I believe in consistency and fairness, have strong ethics, and know the value of working with all stakeholders to achieve success. I also believe in the power of active listening and practicing empathy to get to the heart of any challenge, and finding effective solutions. 

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Azam Nizamuddin

for State Representative, 48th Dist.

As an attorney and teacher, I’ve been solving problems for working families my entire adult life. For too long, politicians have played games with our schools, our state budget, and sought support from special interest groups while ignoring real problems in the State.  Our communities and neighborhoods need a new generation of empathetic leaders in Springfield to fight for working families and to represent our values.

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Michelle Mussman

State Representative, 56th Dist.

My name is Michelle Mussman and I am proud to serve as State Representative for the 56th District. Like most people, I am concerned about the financial struggles and negative reputation that have plagued Illinois. The General Assembly needs to help our state gain and maintain financial security and to celebrate and support our residents, our resources, our businesses large and small, and all the things that make Illinois a place we are proud to call home!

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Anne Stava-Murray

State Representative, 81st Dist.

As a member of the state’s newly created Property Tax Relief Tax Force, we will work to provide critical property tax relief for suburban homeowners and push for reforms to provide both long-term and immediate relief. The task force completed its first meeting yesterday and will produce a report within 80 days.

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