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Lauzen dominates Kane County chairman's race

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012 11:16 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012 4:50 p.m. CDT
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(Sandy Bressner - sbressner@shawmedia.com)
Kane County Board Chairman-elect Chris Lauzen greets supporters with his wife, Sarah (second from bottom left) as they await election results Tuesday night at Aurelio's in Geneva.

GENEVA – After two decades of commuting between Springfield and Aurora, State Sen. Chris Lauzen soon will take the helm of Kane County's government as the county's new chief executive.

Tuesday, Lauzen won election as the next Kane County Board chairman, breezing to an easy win to secure a four-year term.

Lauzen, the Republican Kane County Board chairman nominee, bested Democratic nominee, former St. Charles Mayor Sue Klinkhamer.

Lauzen had amassed 93,370 votes to 72,147 for Klinkhamer.

Lauzen will replace outgoing Kane County Board Chairman Karen McConnaughay, of St. Charles, who opted to seek election to the Illinois State Senate after eight years as County Board chairman.

Lauzen had based his campaign on three planks, including freezing the county's property tax levy, running an honest and competent administration and treating people with respect.

During his Republican primary contest with Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns, Lauzen attacked what he called "cronyism" and "corruption" in Kane County's government, problems he blamed primarily on McConnaughay and her political allies.

Lauzen said Tuesday's results left him "excited" for the upcoming years in county government.

"I'm grateful for the landslide support," Lauzen said. "I am very excited about challenges ahead for the board and I, together."

Lauzen said he intended to "get to work" immediately to begin preparing for the beginning of his new political office. He will take the oath of office next month.

"I will be at my desk, tomorrow (Wednesday) morning, at 8:30 a.m., to start work," Lauzen said.

Lauzen said he intended to get to know Kane County Board members. But he declined to say how many county employees he would hire to replace staffers who departed county government this fall.

Klinkhamer said she had called Lauzen early Tuesday and wished him well.

"The odds were kind of stacked against us," she said. "It's hard to be a Democrat in Kane County."

She added that she does not regret running an unconventional campaign, in which she did not raise money or engage Lauzen directly.

"I don't think money would have changed the outcome at all," Klinkhamer said.

With the chairman's race over, Klinkhamer declared an end to any further electoral ambitions.

"I am not running again for anything," Klinkhamer said. "Ever."

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