11 Will County GOP caucuses held to pick nominees for local offices
Newcomers and newlyweds joined slates of seasoned specialists — creating record-breaking attendance, high participation and healthy debate — to yield robust regional results from 11 Will County Republican caucuses across the area’s townships recently despite wintry weather.
Channahon, Crete, Frankfort, Green Garden, Joliet, Lockport, Manhattan, New Lenox, Peotone, Wheatland and Will Townships released information on board, council and leadership positions.
Armed with the knowledge that failing to adhere to regulations could cost party nominations — based on a recently enacted law – the Will County jurisdictions’ Republican caucus participants carefully complied to ease the party’s path.
Channahon Township chose Judy Wooten for supervisor, Rita Duchene Hughes for clerk, Steve Troutman for roads commissioner and Brian Jackson, Mike Rittof, Jason Foreman and Bill Bacon for trustees.
Crete Township’s slate included Michael Liccar for supervisor (with more than double the votes allotted to David Jabaay) and top trustee choices Jim Piacentini, Walter Grady, Frank Elton and Robert Hodge topping three other candidates (Pam Hoffman, Robert Jabaay and Howard Speaker).
Frankfort Township unanimously approved a slate of several incumbents, plus one newcomer: incumbents Jim Moustis for supervisor; Nella Piccolin for clerk; Greg Griffin, Nick George, Dave Smith and Laura Miroballi as trustees; Joe Kral for assessor; and newcomer Gayla Smith for collector.
In Green Garden Township, Republican Township Chairman Cherie Newton unexpectedly won a spot as trustee, while the post of supervisor changed hands with a record 76 constituents attending and a notary public on hand to make it official “on the spot.”
Joliet Township reported a smooth transition, electing Margery Allan for township clerk and trustees Harvey (T-Bird) Huckstep, Jan Nahorski, Jan Hozian and Juan Carrasco.
Lockport Republicans enjoyed pizza while re-electing five officials and choosing four trustees. The township affirmed
Ronald Cornolo for supervisor, James Louch for clerk, Frank DiGiovanni for assessor, John Cielenski for highway commissioner and Joe Silich for collector. New trustees include Barb DeLaney, Greg Bickus, Grant Spooner and Ron O’Malley.
Manhattan Township Republican Chairman Tuck Marshall reported that only slated candidates showed up at the caucus to seek nominations, and all went well.
New Lenox Township encountered one no-show, resulting in victory for incumbents Michael Hickey as supervisor, Bonnie Hernandez as assessor and David Medema as road commissioner. Martin Boban, Barb Kaupas, Larry Wennlend and Kathy Hilton were voted in as trustees.
Peotone Township’s turnout dramatically surpassed past attendance as 82 electors gathered to participate in an ultimately unsuccessful challenge to the 12-year incumbent supervisor, Cann Brian Will.
Wheatland Township Republican Caucus approved Deb Holscher as supervisor; Bill Alstrom as highway commissioner; Chuck Kern as assessor; Jacob Snitko as clerk and Ben Peterson as collector. The township also elected trustees Raquel Mitchel, Jeff Derango, Collen Rotkis and Susan Schaer and collectively focused on frugality and “award-winning transparency.”
Will Township warmly welcomed newlywed couple Caitlin and Mark Heisner as caucus judges, with leadership provided by party chair Judy Ogalla and secretary Holly Maves, stating that “Holly did an awesome job of recording the details of the caucus succinctly.”
Will Township’s caucus attracted twice the number of electors as it did in 2012 due to a contest for the post of road commissioner. Its entire incumbent slate was approved in one motion, and the chairman expressed gratitude to all electors “for coming out to the Republican caucus (and) showing the spirit of democracy.”
“In a geographically large county with 307 precincts in 24 townships, the Will County Republican Central Committee (WCRCC) plays a major role in reaching our 407,702 registered voters,” the Will County Republican Party said in a statement. “The grassroots efforts of our precinct committeemen and volunteers in the WCRCC are the primary sources of energy and strength in achieving results for our party throughout Will County.”
Will County Republican headquarters are located in Joliet.