Voter’s guide to Tuesday, March 16 primaries

Editor’s note: Following is a list of contested seats appearing on the Tuesday, March 16 primary ballot in Winnebago County and the City of Rockford. Uncontested seats are not listed, although seats where there are more than one Democratic or Republican candidate on the ballot also lists the corresponding candidate from the other party.

All candidates running for contested seats were asked to submit candidate statements of 150 words or fewer. Any statements submitted that exceeded the 150-word limit have been edited for fairness of length. Candidates who did not submit statements are listed with no statement. All candidates are listed in the order in which they appear on the ballot.

Candidates who are running uncontested were not asked for a candidate statement due to space limitations, so their name may be listed without a statement if they are running against a party that has more than one candidate.

Propositions appearing on the primary ballot are listed at the end of the candidate listings.

Polls are open 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 16. Check the left side of your voter I.D. card for polling location. If you live in the City of Rockford and have questions about your registration, contact the Board of Election Commissioners at 987-5750.

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United States President

Democratic Candidates

John Edwards

Wesley K. Clark

Howard Dean

Joe Lieberman

Dennis J. Kucinich

The issues that are so important to so many Americans have not gone away. The fact is that we have 43 million Americans without any health insurance—that we’ve lost more than 3 million manufacturing jobs under NAFTA and the WTO—that we’re still losing American servicemen and women almost every day in Iraq and that we have no clear exit strategy in sight. These are issues that must be vigorously debated within the Democratic Party and be given prominence within the Democratic platform. My continued presence gives a forum for these and other important ideas within the Party. And while it might be true that any Democrat could get 49 percent of the vote right now, the question is, how do you get that other 2 or 3 percent that takes you over the top? That’s where my continued presence in this presidential race adds value. I can help bring home the progressive votes the Democratic Party needs to win the election in November.

Lyndon H. La Rouche, Jr.

Carol Mosely-Braun

Alfred C. Sharpton

John F. Kerry

Republican Candidate

George W. Bush

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United States Senator

Democratic Candidates

Barack Obama

I want to be a U.S. Senator who stands up for the millions of Americans who simply aren’t being heard in Washington today. The people who most need help—the working poor, the struggling elderly, the disenfranchised, the children—cannot afford campaign contributions or lobbyists. Yet, they are the ones who most need a voice. For seven years in the Illinois Senate—and for a dozen years before that in public life—I have proven that I am willing to stand up to the powerful, the insiders and special interests to do what’s right for Americans who just want the opportunity promised in our Constitution. That’s been the work of my life, and I hope to pursue it in the U.S. Senate.

Daniel W. Hynes

My top priority will be to recover the nearly 3 million jobs our economy has lost over the past few years, and that is why I was the first candidate for U.S. Senate to release a detailed plan for creating jobs. Our leaders have squandered a substantial budget surplus, eroded our core industries, failed to secure our long-term fiscal stability and left our people fending for themselves. My 22-point plan to create jobs offers “Made in America” tax credits to keep American jobs here at home; invests in transportation projects, struggling industries and farming sectors; and invests in emerging technologies. Additional detailed plans I propose will secure our retirement savings and establish corporate accountability; provide every child with an excellent education; secure our homeland and our world; and expand access to high-quality health care to all Americans. These detailed plans and a number of other policy papers are all available at

Gery Chico

I am running for the U. S. Senate out of a life-long commitment to public service. My experience as Chief of Staff to Chicago Mayor Daley and as President of the Chicago Public Schools gives me firsthand knowledge of how government affects the everyday life of residents. Applying those experiences as Senator, I would develop legislation that addresses pressing social needs like unemployment, healthcare, and education.

I have already proposed a proven economic plan that will create thousands of new jobs in Illinois through federal investment in infrastructure building, and I have called for corporate tax incentives that will bring manufacturers and jobs back to cities like Rockford.

My health care plan calls for universally affordable health care in America, even covering unemployed workers. My education plan includes a vast increase in federal funding, to provide our children with a better education and brighter employment futures. …

Maria Pappas

M. Blair Hull

Joyce Washington

I understand the pressing issues that this country is facing: health care, unemployment, education and quality care for our seniors. Clearly, Congress needs someone who adds new perspectives to solving these problems.

I will work hard to get the economy moving, advocating for economic development and promoting small businesses. I will work to restore fiscal sanity to the budget process and push for every state to receive its fair share of federal dollars. As a health care professional with over 20 years of experience, I will … push for an affordable universal health care plan that will protect every American family and provide assistance to states facing Medicare and Medicaid crises, as well as prescription drug benefit programs that our seniors can truly afford. It is appalling to know that we live in the richest country in the world, yet 43 million Americans—60 percent of whom work full-time—have no health insurance. We must do better!

Nancy Skinner

Republican Candidates

Jim Oberweis

Andy McKenna

I believe Illinois is at a crossroads, both economically and politically.

Illinois’ economy is in transition. We have lost over 100,000 manufacturing jobs in the last five years. We need to do more to encourage new business development and job creation. We need to attract more federal research dollars to spur innovation. And we need to rebuild our transportation infrastructure.

My background in business gives me a unique perspective and the necessary experience to bring common-sense solutions to our economic problems. As we have seen in Springfield, career politicians do not always provide the most creative or successful policies for change.

Politically, the Republican Party is reeling from the devastating losses of 2002, the indictment of former Governor George Ryan, and the actions of a few well-connected insiders. Republicans are ready for a new beginning. I will help rebuild our Party with a commitment to the highest ethical standards, positive leadership, and clearly articulated policies for a better Illinois.

John Borling

Steven J. Rauschenberger

Jack Ryan

Jack Ryan was born in New Trier, a suburb of Chicago, to a family of eight. After graduating from New Trier High School, Jack attended Dartmouth College for his undergraduate degree and continued on to Harvard for his MBA and JD degrees.

After graduation, Jack worked at a refugee camp in south Texas, where he helped supply food, shelter, and clothing to men, women and children fleeing the unrest in Central America during the ’80s.

Jack then went on to have a successful 15-year career with Goldman Sachs. Four years ago, he left Goldman as a partner to become a teacher in an all African-American parochial high school on the South side of Chicago.

It is these experiences that drive the themes of my campaign for the U.S. Senate. I believe we must focus on keeping our families safe and su

ccessfully pursuing this war on terrorism, creating the best environment to provide jobs for Illinois workers and ensuring every child has the opportunity for a quality education.

Chirinjeev Kathuria

Jonathan C. Wright

My experience as a State Representative in the Illinois Legislature made me aware that far too often we are electing people that do not have the power of conviction to follow up their campaign promises with action.

During my service in the Legislature, I established a voting record that demonstrates my conviction to act on my promises.

I am not making promises about creating jobs, because senators do not create jobs. People in the private sector create jobs. However, I am promising to support parents’ rights to educate their children through public, private, or home school. I am promising to take the lead in working to elect judges who are strict constructionists of the U.S. Constitution. I am promising to protect innocent life from conception without exception.

My goal is to make a change in the way things are done in Washington. … I do promise to lead in working towards that goal.

Norm Hill

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Winnebago County

Board Chairman

Democratic Candidates

Clint W. Little

Important issues and concerns facing Winnebago County are budget shortfalls, lack of leadership and direction, turmoil within the county, distrust of county government, loss of jobs and the need to attract businesses to our area.

As Chairman, I will work to bring stability within the board, build and renew trust in the county, and develop long-term planning to help foster growth. I pledge to improve the county infrastructure, help strengthen law enforcement and preserve open space. By strengthening these areas, we can attract and retain jobs for our citizens and reinforce the County’s financial base.

I serve the community as Alderman of Loves Park, member of the Campaign for Sensible Growth, former liaison to the Rockford Area Visitors and Convention Bureau, worked with the Council of 100, and other regional agencies. My experience, dedication and insight make me an effective leader. Visit for more information.

Paul Gorski

The County Board Chairman has few real duties other than being a leader. Past boards invented duties for the chairman and claimed the Chairman wasn’t part of the board. They were wrong. The Chairman is Chairman of the County Board, a part of and the presiding officer of the board. As your Chairman, I’ll work with the board as a team member, on behalf of, not against, the board, answering to you for the board’s successes and shortcomings. Goal No. 1 is customer service, as demonstrated by our dedicated union workforce. I’ll work to promote more local jobs by supporting manufacturing growth, and look beyond manufacturing to service, warehousing, and entertainment industries.

And I’m committed to expanding regional transportation options, including passenger rail, so we can compete economically with neighboring counties. Help me achieve these goals—please vote for Paul Gorski, for Winnebago County Board Chairman. Thank you.

Republican Candidate

Scott Christiansen

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Winnebago County

Board—District 4

Democratic Candidate

No Candidate

Republican Candidates

John H. Harmon

David Fiduccia

I have been a life-long resident of Winnebago County, and have worked in public service for the county for over 25 years as a police officer and a corrections officer. I currently serve as a chairman of the Cherry Valley Drug-Free Coalition, chairman of Northern Illinois Police Week, and am a D.A.R.E. officer. This is my opportunity to use the experience I’ve gained over the years to give back to our community.

If elected to the county board, I would bring to the floor issues such as:

Exploring avenues that would attract and secure more jobs in the region;

Possible reductionin size of the county board;

Combining city and county offices that are comparable;

Overseeing the construction of the new Criminal Justice Center to avoid the same mistakes that were made in constructing the Public Safety Building in the ’70s.

I look forward to serving you as your 4th District county board member!

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Winnebago County

Board—District 6

Democratic Candidate

Dorothy Redd

Republican Candidates

Joshua West

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the REPUBLIC for which it stands…”

As a true Republican, I will support the Constitutional Republic that our forefathers founded this country upon. I will serve the people of this community to the best of my ability and seek to protect the next generation from Democratic Socialism.

As a native of Rockford raising my children here, I am personally vested in the best interests of this community. As one of you, I recognize that smaller government means a less intrusive government.

I will support lower property taxes; protect property rights, protect our liberty, seek to secure existing jobs, and work to bring new jobs to the area. It is my desire to be your advocate, constantly seeking to improve our quality of life.

My promises are my actions. Vote Joshua West for County Board District 6.

Sam An

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Winnebago County

Board—District 12

Democratic Candidates

Mike Leifheit

People who work for a living and small business are having a tough time making ends meet, and state, county, and city government go on spending like there was no tomorrow. We need to take a closer look at what services are essential.

I don’t think we should spend 100 million or more on a detention facility, and I do not think it should be located in our downtown. The property downtown is way too valuable and therefore exorbitantly expensive. There are reasonable alternatives that we should explore. It would be far better for the community if we invested these funds in treatment programs and economic development.

Local government business should be conducted in the open. There have been too many dealings behind closed doors in the past… .

If elected I will be a voice for the River District … . I will encourage county government to be more involved with the Council of 100 including financial support of same. I will be open to my constituency at all times.

L.C. Wilson

I was born and graduated from high school in Kentucky. I served approximately two years in the U.S. Navy, receiving an honorable discharge. I have lived in Rockford since July of 1970, and at my present address since December of 1974.

I am married to Regina Wilson. Between us, we have four children, and seven grandchildren.

I attended Rockford Business College where I received an associate’s degree in business administration. Past member of the Rockford Jaycees, past member of the county board for district No. 12, a precinct committeeman for the 7th Ward, and 6th Precinct. Member of the Democratic Central Committee, vice president of the NAACP local chapter, member of the Northwest Illinois Political Black Caucus. Member of Macedonia Baptist Church.

Some of my concerns for the community are economic development, jobs for this area, and retaining college-educated minorities for this area.

Republican Candidate

No Candidate

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Winnebago County

Board—District 13

Democratic Candidates

Melissa Lewis

If elected to the Winnebago County Board, I would love to see jobs come back to the Winnebago County area. The following are a few of the ideas I hope to accomplish on the board:

• On-the-job training for young adults who need the training;

• Get low-income families the education and/or job training that is needed to improve their situation;

• To work hard on getting “No Child Left Behind” working in the schools for all children especially the children with special needs;

• To have education/fun programs for latchkey children;

• I am for the new criminal justice center. I think programs for offenders should be offered especially for first-time offenders.

Bob Hastings

There are major decisions to be made by the County Board

. I believe fresh ideas are needed to move Winnebago County in the proper direction for the future.

The Criminal Justice Center project has been delayed from the beginning. I believe this project should move forward and be built in the manner it was presented to the voters at the time the referendum was passed. It doesn’t matter how large we build the new jail; it will fill up unless we actually address the problem of recidivism. It is crucial we put programs in place for the inmates, which will make them productive members of our community.

The Perryville Road Extension should continue to Swanson Road. … This type of development will bring in additional tax revenues, which will help the other taxing bodies in their delivery of services.

The County Board must diligently work toward an affordable alternative to the burning ban, which they implemented last year. …

Republican Candidates

Rick Pollack

Serving the residents of Winnebago County Board District 13 as a County Board member has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I do not take this service lightly. My commitment is to continue to be responsive and make responsible decisions that benefit the working families of Winnebago County. These decisions are based on my experience and philosophy.

My philosophy:

1. Government should not penalize working families or local business with tax increases.

2. The budget is balanced by holding the line on spending and by streamlining government.

3. Elected officials should be responsive to constituents.

During my six years on the board, I held firm to this philosophy and have opposed all attempts to increase the property tax rate. Where possible, I have suggested ways to reduce waste and have voted for spending cuts to balance the county budget. Recently, as Chair of Public Safety, I have led the effort to shave 3 million dollars off the jail design. …

Bryon C. Muraski

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Winnebago County

Board—District 14

Democratic Candidate

No Candidate

Republican Candidates

John M. Sweeney

Serving on the Winnebago County Board has been both an honor and a challenge. I have never taken for granted the responsibility the citizens of District 14 have entrusted in me to represent their interests for these last 8 years. I am proud to have earned the reputation as one of the most accessible members on the board, and I am proud that the voters have allowed me to continue to serve. That’s what this elected office is all about, listening to the people you represent. Understanding that you cannot please everyone on every issue, it is important all the same to listen to everyone and make your best decision. That is what I have always tried to do. I hope you feel the same, and I hope you will vote once again for me on March 16.

Bruce Roberts

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City Proposition


Shall bonds in the amount of $8,500,000 be issued by the City of Rockford, Winnebago County, Illinois, for the purpose of paying a part of the cost of street and storm sewer improvements in and for said City, and for expenses incidental thereto, said bonds bearing interest at the rate of not to exceed the greater of 9% per annum or 125% of the rate for the most recent date shown in the 20 G.O. Bonds Index of average municipal bond yields as published in the most recent edition of The Bond Buyer, published in New York, New York, at the time the conract is made for the sale of said bonds?



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Shall the maximum annual tax rate for educational purposes for Harlem Unit School District Number 122, Winnebago County, Illinois, be increased and established at 3.69 percent upon all the taxable property of said School District at the value, as equalized or assessed by the Department of Revenue, instead of 3.29 percent, the present maximum rate otherwise applicable to the next taxes to be extended for said purposes?



(a) The total dollar amount of the most recently approved annual budget of the School District is $60,666,400 and the total dollar amount of that annual budget would be $62,821,500 if increased by the amount of additional tax which may be levied if the proposition is approved, a percentage increase of 3.55 percent.

(b) If the proposition is approved, the current educational fund tax rate of 3.29 percent, or a percentage increase of 12.16 percent.

(c) It is estimated that the approximate amount of taxes for educational purposes extendible under the maximum current rate of 3.29% is $17,725,446 and that the approximate amount of taxes for educational purposes extendible under the proposed increased tax rate of 3.69 percent is $19,880,546.

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Shall the maximum annual tax rate for educational purposes of Winnebago Community School District Number 323, Counties of Winnebago and Stephenson, State of Illinois, commonly known as Winnebago Community Unit School District Number 323, be increased and established at 3.45 percent on the full, fair cash value of taxable property as equalized or assessed by the Department of Revenue instead of 2.50 percent, the maximum rate otherwise applicable to the next taxes to be extended for said purpose?



(a) The district is currently levying educational taxes at a rate of 2.50 percent.

(b) The approximate amount of educational taxes extendible under the maximum rate now in force in said School District is the sum of $2,920,807.

(c) If the proposition herein is approved the district will be authorized to levy educational taxes at a maximum rate of 3.45 percent.

(d) The approximate amount of educational taxes extendible under the proposed increased rate, before application of the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law, is the sum of $4,030,713.

(e) If the proposition herein is approved the percentage increase between the maximum rate the district is currently authorized to levy for educational taxes and the newly authorized rate is 38 percent.

(f) The total dollar amount of the most recently approved annual budget of the school district is $12,727,768.

(g) The total dollar amount of the annual budget if increased by the full amount of the additional tax which may be levied in the educational fund is $13,837,674.

(h) If the proposition herein is approved, the percentage increase between the total dollar amount of the most recently approved annual budget and the total dollar amount of the annual budget if the full amount of such additional tax were to be levied in the educational fund is 8.72 percent.

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