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Race for 25th taking shape

Published: Friday, Aug. 19, 2011 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Aug. 19, 2011 7:18 p.m. CDT

A wide-open, multi-candidate race appears to be in the offing for the Republican nomination to replace outgoing State Sen. Chris Lauzen in Springfield.

Last weekend, Lauzen, an Aurora Republican, announced that he intended to leave his seat in the Illinois State Senate from the 25th District to run for the position of Kane County Board chairman.

The 25th Senate District would include the Kane County townships of Sugar Grove, Blackberry and Batavia, and the southern half of Campton Township and half of St. Charles Township east of the Fox River. It also would include portions of townships in Kendall County and western portions of Wayne and Winfield townships in DuPage County.

The district had been drawn to also bump slightly into Aurora Township to include Lauzen’s home.

After Lauzen announced his intent to run for county office, at least three candidates have indicated they will or are “highly likely” to place their names on the ballot in the race to be that district’s next state senator.

Blackberry Township Supervisor David Richmond became the first candidate to publicly step forward, as he said he will formally announce his intent to run at a gathering Sunday. Richmond, a lawyer, of unincorporated Batavia, had previously served legislatively on the staff of former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives J. Dennis Hastert.

Richmond’s career has been circuitous. After serving in the U.S. Coast Guard, Richmond said he returned home to Yorkville to help his brother found a home construction business.

Later, he left that business to attend college, ultimately graduating with a law degree. He then worked as an assistant state’s attorney in the Kendall County State’s Attorney’s Office, before joining Hastert’s staff.

Since Hastert’s resignation from Congress, Richmond has pursued a career as a lawyer, while owning an oil change shop in Bolingbrook. He has served as Blackberry Township supervisor for about two and a half years.

Richmond said he intends to bring “the values of the Fox Valley to Springfield.” He said that would include a desire for Illinois’ government to “live within our means.”

He said he would oppose tax increases, such as the recent income tax increase recently enacted by the Illinois General Assembly.

And Richmond said he believes Illinois state government policies have robbed future generations of Illinoisans, including Richmond’s five teenage children, of the economic opportunities he enjoyed.

“We have an opportunity deficit right now, and it needs to be addressed,” he said.

Sugar Grove Village President Sean Michels said he also intends to run in the Republican primary next spring. Michels challenged Lauzen in the 2010 primary and was defeated.

Michels said he believes the issues for which he campaigned in 2010 remain relevant, including the need to make sure that the local communities are receiving “their fair share” of revenue from Springfield.

Michels said he would push for funding for needed transportation projects, such as a full interchange at Interstate 88 and Route 47. He said he also would continue to push for reforms to the state’s public workers pension systems and workman’s compensation rules.

Michels said he would formally announce his intentions “within a week or two.”

Other candidates rumored to be seeking the state senate seat include State Rep. Mike Fortner, R-West Chicago, and former congressional candidate and CEO of Oberweis Dairy, Jim Oberweis.

Fortner did not return messages left at his office this week.

But in an emailed response to a question from the Kane County Chronicle, Oberweis said it was “highly likely” he would run for the 25th Senate District seat in 2012.

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