During the 2006 election, Democrats in Hoffman Estates adopted a strategy of backing a candidate attractive to those who speak Spanish. Combined with the fervent opposition to long-term incumbent State Rep. Terry Parke by abortion supporters, Parke lost his office.
Now, Bill Gentes, a Democratic Party candidate who is fluent in Spanish by reason of having spent 8 years in Mexico, has announced his candidacy for the state senate that State Senator Bill Peterson (R-Long Grove).
The district comes into McHenry County north of Crystal Lake and has much of McHenry in it.
The challenger to Parke was a Republican village trustee in Hoffman Estates before he was recruited by the Democrats.
The issues he has staked out are transportation, jobs, real estate tax relief and education reform.
The mayor is a real estate agent now and has a blog.
His press release follows:
Bill Gentes Announces his Candidacy for the Illinois State Senate District 26 as a Democrat
Round Lake, IL— Bill Gentes announced his run for the 26th district of the Illinois Senate today. Mr. Gentes is the two term Mayor of Round Lake Illinois, one of the fastest growing and most progressive communities in the state. “The district has experienced many changes and those changes have not been reflected downstate. I am excited
to have the opportunity to affect change and improvement, said Bill Gentes. “My major priorities for the 26th district are transportation improvement, jobs, property tax relief and education reform. I have taken leadership positions on job growth, transportation reform and healthcare in my time as Mayor of Round Lake.
Mr. Gentes has been a leader in interactive communication with his residents by his use of his blog. “I aim to bring a much greater level of communication to the residents of the 26th Senate District with a daily blog’ ability to keep in touch with residents of the district.”
He is the Chairman of the 120 Corridor Planning Council, a member of the Executive Committee of the Lake County Transportation Alliance and serves on the Board of Governors of Lake County Partners, the Economic Development arm of Lake County.
Bill is serving his second term as Mayor of Round Lake, Illinois. Round Lake, one of the fastest growing communities in the state of Illinois has tripled in size in the last six years. His experience in this progressive, growing community translate well to the challenges faced by the 26th District.
Prior to his election as Mayor, Bill served three terms as Trustee for the Round Lake Area Library district and was Chairman of the Round Lake Planning and Zoning Commission for five years. In addition Bill has spoken at national conferences on blogging and transportation issues.
Bill has been a senior executive and CEO in the non-profit industry for over 20 years, specializing in international associations. Currently Mr. Gentes is a licensed realtor in Illinois. He is a graduate of the University of Texas—Pan American, where he graduated with a major in History and a minor English Literature.
Bill was born in New York, but grew up in Guadalajara Mexico and attended Mexican schools for 8 years where he became fluent in Spanish. He is married and has a 17 year old daughter.
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Photograph of Bill Gentes provided by the candidate, as is the map of the district. The map can be enlarged by clicking on it.