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Local

Rickert files for board chairman, creating GOP primary challenge to Lauzen

'I’m running for the position, not actually running against Chris'

Kane County Treasurer David Rickert filed nominating papers Monday to run for Kane County Board Chairman in 2020.

Incumbent Chairman Chris Lauzen has also filed nominating papers seeking a third term.

Because Rickert’s term as treasurer is not up, if he loses the chairman’s race, he will still keep his treasurer position.

This means there would be a Republican primary on March 17 in preparation for the 2020 November election.

“I’m running for the position, not actually running against Chris,” Rickert said. “I have tremendous respect for Chairman Lauzen. I’m glad I’ve been a tremendous help with a number of things he tried to focus on. I’ve been very blessed to have worked with him on a lot of those issues. I think we are both great candidates for this.”

To a question about Lauzen’s sometimes combative leadership style, Rickert said he would confine his campaign to talking about issues and not about personalities.

“I have a good working relationship with him,” Rickert said of Lauzen. “My ability (is) to work with department heads and elected officials from both parties … I really try hard to work with people.”

Rickert said many people may not realize that the chairman is the chief executive officer for the county, with a lot of his or her responsibilities centering around budget and finance issues.

“Everything centers on budget, guidelines and being respectful of taxpayers,” Rickert said. “We both have tremendous respect for taxpayers. It’s a real challenge to meet those guidelines.”

Lauzen admitted that with two Republicans filing for the same office, a GOP primary is in the offing.

“That is what it looks like,” Lauzen said.

But he praised Rickert for his service to the county.

“Dave is an experienced, competent county executive,” Lauzen said. “He’s been doing this for 20 years. He has been a terrific help achieving what we have achieved in the last seven to eight years with a frozen property tax levy. We are running the county on fewer tax collars than we did eight years ago.”

Lauzen said with Rickert’s help, the county has paid down its public debt by 70% and fully funded its public employee pension obligations at 95%.

“The thing I like the most about Dave is that for 20 years, twice a year, when it’s property tax time and there’s a line up of people – who are not happy to be paying their property taxes – to his office, he works the counter hands on, eyeball to eyeball, to the taxpayers,” Lauzen said.

“That’s one of the reasons he’s been such a terrific help. He knows how important this is,” Lauzen said. “I do appreciate him.”

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