2020 DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES
Office: President of the United States
Joe Biden, President
Kamala Harris, Vice-President
Office: US Senate:
· Proposes and considers new legislation, including the power to declare war, raise an army and navy, borrow and coin money, regulate interstate commerce, create federal courts, and establish rules for the naturalization of immigrants
· Approves or rejects international treaties
· Approves or rejects presidential nominations for executive and judicial positions
· Convenes Senate committees to conduct oversight and investigations, prepare bills, and regulate Senate procedure
· Serves as the high court for impeachment trials
Senator Dick Durbin serves as the Democratic Whip—the second-ranking Democratic member in the U.S. Senate — and on the Senate Judiciary, Appropriations, Agriculture, and Rules Committees. Born in East St. Louis, Illinois, today Dick and his wife Loretta call Springfield home. They are the parents of three children and the proud grandparents of six grandchildren.
As Illinois’ senior Senator, Dick Durbin is championing progressive values and protecting working families, delivering economically for Illinoisans across the state, and fighting for affordable health care, humane immigration policies, criminal justice reform, our environment, and so much more. He’s never afraid to stand up to the most powerful special interests, and he’s never afraid to do what’s right for Illinois.
Office: US House of Representatives:
Has sole power to originate revenue bills
Proposes and considers new legislation, including the power to declare war, raise an army and navy, borrow and coin money, regulate interstate commerce, create federal courts, and establish rules for the naturalization of immigrants
Convenes House committees to conduct oversight and investigations, prepare bills, and regulate House procedure
Can impeach Federal officials; i.e., formally charge the president, vice president and other officials, including judges, with serious crimes
US House 6th District
Representative Sean Casten is a scientist and clean energy businessman who brings an outsider’s common-sense approach to Washington. In Congress, Sean has led on combating climate change, helping shape legislation that would require that the United States reenter the Paris Climate Agreement and modernize our infrastructure for a clean energy future. Sean also believes that all Americans have a right to quality, affordable health care, and supports the Affordable Care Enhancement Act and lowering the costs of prescription drugs. In response to the coronavirus, he believes science should guide our policies and how we reopen the economy in a smart, safe way. He is a cosponsor of the HEROES Act, which would provide financial relief for millions of Americans and the resources states need to combat the pandemic. Sean is accessible and delivering for the district, including holding more than 30 town halls and answering over 50,000 constituent questions.
US House 8th District
Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi rose from humble beginnings to Princeton, Harvard Law and Congress, representing Illinois’ 8th Congressional District. While in office, he has authored the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act that was signed into law July 2018 and led multiple Oversight Committee investigations, including those into how vaping companies target children and how the Food and Drug Administration allowed faulty COVID-19 antibody tests to flood the country. In addition, as a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Representative Krishnamoorthi has worked to oversee our nation's intelligence operations that keep our country safe. Since taking office in 2016, Representative Krishnamoorthi has worked to fulfill this office’s duties in fighting for his district and the country as a whole.
Office: Illinois General Assembly
The primary duties of the General Assembly (Illinois House and Illinois Senate) are to:
Represent DuPage communities
Propose and consider new legislation
Approve a fair & balanced budget
(Senate) Confirm executive appointments to state departments and agencies
Draw both congressional and state legislative district lines (redistricting)
Act on federal constitutional amendments, and propose constitutional amendments for Illinois
Override the Governor’s vetoes when a three-fifths majority in each chamber approves
Impeach (House) and try upon impeachment (Senate) executive and judicial officials
As a long-time resident, community activist, and a leader in the financial sector, Ken Mejia-Beal has spent the better part of his life helping others in his community. As a young professional in DuPage County, Ken worked as a mortgage manager, helping citizens affected by the housing crisis receive a hand up through the government-sponsored HARP program. But his work in the southwest suburban community did not stop there. As an activist and community organizer, he has experience in discussing affordable housing, climate justice, and affordable healthcare with elected members of the Illinois General Assembly. As a member of the Advisory Panel of Equality Illinois and the DuPage NAACP, Ken understands the socioeconomic struggles faced by all communities, and has dedicated a large part of his career toward alleviating these disparities in common-sense, bipartisan ways. Throughout his life as a citizen, one thing remains constant: Ken enjoys the work of reaching out across the aisle and communicating with community members and leaders to seek practical solutions to difficult problems. With a background in finance and his finger on the pulse of his community, Ken recognizes that citizens of Illinois are leaving in droves due to the ever-increasing property taxes, and he recognizes that this problem will persist unless there is an independent voice in Springfield. That’s why Ken Mejia-Beal has decided to run for the Illinois House of Representatives in his own 42nd District.
State Rep. Deb Conroy is a leader for mental healthcare, women’s rights, and education in the State Capitol. She serves as the Chair of the House Mental Health Committee, where she’s led the fight for mental health insurance parity and successfully secured funding for mental healthcare and addiction services.
As Co-Founder and Chair of the House Democratic Women’s Caucus, she fights tirelessly for legislation to advance the rights of women in Illinois, including strengthening equal pay laws, enacting landmark anti-harassment measures, and preserving affordable women’s healthcare services.
As a former school board member and mother of four, supporting DuPage County’s students, teachers and schools has been one of Deb’s top priorities. She’s brought millions in additional state funding to our local schools — one step that could pave the way for meaningful property tax relief while ensuring students and teachers have the resources needed to succeed.
Terra Costa Howard*
State Rep. Terra Costa Howard is a lawyer, small business owner, wife, mother of three daughters, and a tireless advocate for children and families. Born and raised in DuPage County, Terra has spent her entire legal career fighting on behalf of vulnerable people in our communities.
Terra ran for State Representative in 2018 because she believes the people of the 48th District deserve excellent public schools, fair taxes, and the freedom to make their own health decisions without government interference.
Since her election, Terra has closed loopholes that allowed businesses to avoid paying their fair share of DuPage property taxes, created stronger protections for victims of domestic violence and trafficking, and led the fight for sensible gun laws that will keep our children safe. She’s also been a leader in DuPage County’s fight against COVID-19.
As your State Representative, Terra Costa Howard is bringing trust, common sense, and honesty back to Springfield.
Office: 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
Lynn LaPlante is a community activist, volunteer and three-term elected Precinct Committeeperson, with a focus on gun violence prevention, equal rights, fighting climate change, and ensuring affordable insulin for all.
Lynn was recently selected for the prestigious Illinois Women’s Institute of Leadership Training Academy, which trains progressive women to run for office at all levels of government — the first woman from DuPage County to be chosen in nearly a decade. She was endorsed for the primary by the Daily Herald and DuPage County NOW.
Lynn is the founder and President of Glen Ellyn Women Leaders (GEWLS), a member of the Glenbard West Boosters, Association of Music Parents, and Bridges Communities.
Lynn holds degrees from the University of Notre Dame and University of Illinois. She is a professional musician with the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic and writes about politics and women’s issues for many platforms including Huffington Post and DemCast USA. Lynn lives in Glen Ellyn with her husband and four children.
Greg Schwarze is a 27-year veteran Firefighter/Paramedic and serves as the Firehouse public education coordinator. In these roles, he sees the everyday lives of his neighbors, including during those times when their circumstances are difficult and their needs at a peak. He is also serving a fourth term as a Carol Stream Village Trustee. It is in this role that he has learned how to govern and take care of the community’s needs as a whole. He has experience in being fiscally responsible, yet making sure we are providing necessary services to everyone. Greg says,“Listening for comprehension and being empathetic to the concerns of residents, while still being able to think for the entire community when making decisions, is an underrated skill.” He brings this skill and his broad experiences to his candidacy for the County Board.
Office: DuPage Forest Preserve Commissioner:
Provides leadership and stewardship over the 26,000 acres of DuPage County Forest Preserves
Guides the agency's mission and is responsible for approving all land acquisitions, restoration and improvement projects, purchases and bids, financial planning and appropriation of the annual budget
Additionally, through resolution and ordinance, in concert with the Board, establishes the policies and regulations that govern the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County
Functions as a liaison to the constituents of his/her respective District and other local units of government, hearing and discussing ideas and issues to improve the forest preserves, the community, and the quality of life in DuPage County
Tina Tyson-Dunne sees protecting and preserving the public lands we hold as an issue of vital importance. As a Master Naturalist, she has been an active volunteer with the Forest Preserve in multiple areas of the Natural Resources Department, monitoring bluebirds, frogs, dragonflies, and habitats within our preserves. She believes habitat preservation is vital, as our preserves are such a valuable ecosystem in our County and changes in our climate must be taken very seriously in the management of our lands. She wants to ensure that the East Branch River Trail moves forward, giving the communities within Districts 2 and 4 a connection to our Forest Preserves, the Morton Arboretum, the Prairie Path and Great Western Trails.
She advocates including solar power on all projects, moving the Forest Preserve onto a path of sustainability, and ensuring the needs of Forest Preserve employees and volunteers are being met, since both are vital to the successful operation of our preserves.
Jeff comes from rural Ohio, where he was surrounded by green space. While young, he learned the importance conservation and stewardship. After obtaining an engineering technology degree, and a master’s degree in environmental science, he honed skills as an environmental scientist and engineer working at all levels of government, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the State of Ohio. Given his professional experience, Jeff understands the complexities of environmental issues. He also understands community activism and the importance of working with all constituents. He has experienced firsthand the environmental racism in Detroit. Locally, he has been a strong advocate for the environment as a Sierra Club volunteer leader and clean energy educator to address climate change. You can count on Jeff to support nature trails, restoration of natural areas, and to advocate for more solar energy for our preserves. It’s time for good government that provides high value.
Office: DuPage Clerk of the Circuit Court:
Provides for a consistent and responsible direction of recording and maintaining the legal events of cases in the 18th Judicial Circuit Court
Keeps and preserves all records and files of the Court
Issues process as required by law, and is the keeper of the Seal of the Court
Accepts over 320,000 new case filings each year which are heard in the designated court rooms at the Judicial Center and at five satellite locations
Candice Adams has legal experience, management experience, and a desire to better our community, and is highly qualified to be Clerk of the Circuit Court. Currently, she is a practicing attorney, overseeing a department at an expanding firm in Chicago. Prior to entering the legal field, she managed teams of well over 100 people and departments that generated revenue in the millions. Further, she spent many years helping survivors of sexual assault as a sexual assault advocate, which she views as the most meaningful work of her life. She hopes to bring her organizational skills, her ability to manage large projects and teams, and a new approach to ensuring that members of our community have meaningful access to the resources in the Clerk’s Office once she is elected to this office.
Office: DuPage County Auditor:
Is responsible for evaluating and reporting on County operations
Conducts internal audits of the operating departments, systems and internal controls under the jurisdiction of the DuPage County Board and eight County-wide elected officials
Evaluates how County resources/assets are protected, used and recorded; how and where County money is spent; and how County departments are operating
Prepares recommendations for improving systems and processes
Audits all departments and programs under the jurisdiction of the DuPage County Board and most of the operations of the eight County-wide elected officials
William “Bill” White
William White has considerable local government experience:
Commissioner and Mayor pro tem for the Village of Downers Grove
Board member and school board president for CHSD 99 (Downers Grove North & South high schools)
Chair of the Downers Grove Comprehensive Plan Citizens committee
Chair of Zoning Board of Appeals
As Mayor pro tem, he met weekly with the mayor and village manager to discuss ongoing village operations and maintain alignment between staff and the elected council. As school board president, he worked directly with the district superintendent on school district operations, strategic planning and preparing the annual budget. As chair of the Comprehensive Plan committee, he guided the development of an award winning long range plan for the village. This diverse experience has given him a comprehensive understanding of how good government works, and he will draw on that experience to hold county officials responsible for providing efficient, transparent and effective government.
Office: DuPage County Coroner;
Investigates all deaths occurring in DuPage County in a timely and professional manner, while ensuring the highest level of compassion, dignity and respect for the deceased and their families
Determines the manner and cause of a decedent’s death, based if necessary on the findings of the autopsy or toxicology results
Greg Whalen, 37, a husband, father and highly experienced public safety professional, is seeking the office of County Coroner. Greg has over 16 years of public safety experience and currently holds the rank of Lieutenant for a north suburban municipal police department. Greg has a master’s degree in Public Safety Administration and is a graduate of the Northwestern University Center for Public Safety’s School of Police Staff and Command. Greg has been certified as an Evidence Technician for over 10 years and a Fire/Arson Investigator for over 13 years. Greg’s operational and managerial experience in the public safety field makes him a unique candidate for the position of coroner as he is thoroughly qualified to administratively lead the coroner’s office. As a police officer, firefighter and paramedic, Greg has also gained significant experience by responding to and overseeing incidents that involve death ranging from natural causes to homicides and suicides.
Office: DuPage County Recorder:
Provides the accurate and timely maintenance of the indexing of documents in the chain of title to DuPage County land
Oversees the automated system permitting customers to retrieve property and other documents electronically
Kathleen Carrier, a lifelong Illinois resident, has a bachelor’s degree in Management from National Louis University. As a working mother, a grandmother, and a community volunteer, she has been active in local politics, working to improve resources for single parents and senior citizens.
Office: Judge of the 18th Judicial Circuit Court
Circuit Court judges:
· 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 impact citizens, and these judges can move up to higher judicial levels
· Are part of the first step in the judicial review process, which interprets as well as enforces laws in the County, State and United States (For example, the JANUS v. AFSCME union rights case originated in an Illinois courtroom and was litigated at the United States Supreme Court.)
(for the Anderson seat)
Jeff Jacobson is a past Administrative Law Judge for IDES, ruling on about 10,000 cases impacting families and businesses, and has been an attorney for almost 30 years in DuPage County. He’s made recent appearances on WBBM, NBC, ABC, WCPT and Facebook Live. He is endorsed by numerous Federal, State and Local office holders, unions, DuPage NOW and Personal PAC. He is the treasurer and Executive Board Member of DuPage Inn of Court, a past DuPage County Bar Association executive board member and Assistant Treasurer, and a board member of the Obama Legacy Initiative. He brings experience and fairness to the court. He lives in Downers Grove with his wife, Heidi, and his four children. He’s a past president of Downers Grove North High School PTO and a past vice-president of the PTA. He has volunteered as a 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.
(for the O’Shea seat)
Azam Nizamuddin has decades of experience as a litigator in all facets of the law. In his twenty years as an attorney, law journal editor, and educator, he has worked in large firms and small firms, as general counsel to corporations, and as a solo practitioner. He has represented clients in both civil and criminal cases and has a wealth of experience in the courtroom. He has a “Highly Recommended” rating for Judge by the DuPage County Bar Association and has been endorsed by the Chicago Tribune and numerous federal, state, and local elected officials.
Regarding his candidacy for a judgeship, Azam says, “I am passionate about serving all of the people of DuPage County as a judge dedicated to impartiality, equal access to justice, and to ensuring that bias has no place in our legal system. I have devoted my life to furthering greater empathy, respect, and understanding between all citizens. Justice Matters!”
for the Bakalis seat)
Peggy O’Connell has been a lawyer for over 29 years. She spent the first six years of her career as an Assistant Attorney General and the next eight years as a Senior Assistant Attorney General. Currently, she is a Senior Partner at a law firm in Lombard. Her areas of practice are Family Law and Criminal Defense. Throughout her career, she has had a strong sense of duty and responsibility to her local community, as shown by her receipt of the DuPage County Bar Association Legal Aid Division’s Pro Bono Service Award on four occasions. She is a member of the DuPage County Bar Association’s Mentor/Mentee Program and a Board Member for Turning Point Autism Foundation, which is a not-for-profit organization which assists families who have children on the autism spectrum. Turning Point provides both education and job training, as these children transition into young adulthood, and makes it a goal to help them become self-sufficient. She has received the DuPage Association of Women Lawyers Inspirational Woman Award.
(for the Sutter seat)
Jill Otte has been a public servant and litigator her entire legal career, both as a criminal prosecutor and a civil defense attorney. She has worked at the Illinois Attorney General’s Office for 20 years, currently serving as the Chief of the Workers’ Compensation Bureau in Chicago. She has tried hundreds of cases in Kane County criminal courtrooms (Traffic/Misdemeanor, DUI, Mental Health, Felony, Felony Drug) and civil courtrooms throughout Illinois (DuPage, Kane, Cook, Ottawa, Kankakee, Winnebago, the Illinois Court of Claims, the Illinois Civil Service Commission, the Illinois State Police Merit Board, the Illinois Secretary of State Merit Commission and the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission). Regarding her candidacy for judge, she says, “While I love working for the Attorney General’s Office, becoming a judge would allow me to focus solely on the residents of DuPage County. I am confident that my experience and skills will allow me to become a fair, reasonable and empathetic judge.”
REFERENDUM FOR A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT
• Fair Tax Referendum: Should Illinois amend its Constitution to allow graduated taxes?
Please Vote Yes. This Referendum would amend the Illinois Constitution to allow (but not mandate) a graduated tax system. Passing this amendment is a prerequisite for any plan to address the state’s financial problems without further burdening the middle class. For more information go to: https://www.yesforfairtax.org/
VOTE BY MAIL - IT’S SAFE AND SECURE
Our County Clerk, Democrat Jean Kaczmarek, is strongly committed to keeping elections fair, accessible to all eligible voters, and safe.
HERE’S HOW TO DO IT
• The Election Division will be mailing Vote By Mail (VBM) applications to all registered voters. If you do not receive an application by September 1, here is a link to verify if you are registered to vote: https://ova.elections.il.gov/. If you aren’t registered, you can use the same link to register. If you are registered but did not automatically receive a VBM application, you can either complete it online or download, print and complete the VBM application at https://www.dupageco.org/Election/VoteByMail/. After completing the printed application, mail it to:
DuPage County Clerk – Election Division
PO Box 1087
Wheaton, IL 60187
• If you have moved, be sure the Election Division has your current address. Your VBM application will not be forwarded. You are not required to vote by mail. You can ignore the application and go to the polls. However, if you request a VBM ballot, you must surrender it at the polls if you want to vote at the polls. Ballots will be mailed starting September 24. Last day for the county to mail out ballots is October 29. After you receive your ballot, fill it in, sign the envelope enclosed with the ballot, and mail it in. The ballot must be postmarked no later than Election Day in order to be counted. (IMPORTANT: Signature verification is the same for mail-in ballots as for in-person ballots. It must match your signature on file with the election office.)
• IMPORTANT! DuPage County will be providing secure drop boxes for your vote-by-mail ballot at every early voting location. If you are concerned about post office delivery times, apply for your ballot and return it as soon as possible, and consider using a drop box instead of mailing it.
• Approximately a week after mailing your ballot, check on-line at: https://www.dupageco.org/election/ to be sure your ballot has been received and will be counted on Election Day.
• Consider becoming an election judge! There is still time to take the online training, and become a poll worker during early voting and/or on Election Day. Pay has been increased for this election, and younger workers are particularly welcome. Contact the Election Division at 630-407-5600 if you are interested.