Looks Like GOP Leaders Plan a Caucus in Grafton Township

With five of 31 precincts still vacant during a year when volunteers were coming out of the woodwork, the Grafton Township Republican Central Committee has scheduled a meeting for 6:30 Tuesday evening on November 18, apparently at Image Industries, 11,220 East Main in Huntley.

I say “apparently” because the email notice from new township GOP chairman Tom Poznanski does not mention the location. The subsequent email from Grafton Township Supervisor John Rossi gives the Image Industries location.

As I explained last weekend, township central committees have the option of selecting their township candidates through a vote of the people at a primary election or at a caucus of precinct committeemen.

To Let People Vote in Township Primaries or Not – Part 1

To Let People Vote in Township Primaries or Not – Part 2

It is obvious why incumbent township officials would favor no primary election.

A caucus is easier to control that a primary election. In a primary anyone can run.

But, consider this.

What if Grafton Township Republicans hold a closed door caucus and re-nominate the current office holders:

Township Supervisor John Rossi
Township Assessor William T. Ottley
Township Road CommissionerJack Freund
Township Clerk Dina Frigo
Township Trustees

Betty Zirk
Lois Brothers
Rob LaPorta
Barbara Murphy


So the incumbents make it onto the April ballot.

What if the Democrats are willing to play the “Party of the People” card and schedule a primary election to select their candidates?

To the best of my knowledge, the Democrats have never run candidates for Grafton Township office. Until four years ago, neither had Republicans.

Instead there was an amalgam ticket on a “for this election only” party label.

I haven’t seen township election totals yet, but Grafton Township Democrats may have carried the day with all the door knocking for newly-elected McHenry County Board member Paula Yensen.

If they are sufficiently encouraged, they might decide to run people.

And, if they are smart—and they were certainly smart enough to elected Yensen—they might just hold an open primary and point out that the Republicans held a closed caucus…again, assuming the township GOP does so.

The Dems could even be bold encourage to enough candidates to make a primary election interesting. After all, they might win and these jobs do pay money.

That would lead to press coverage for the Democrats and none for the GOP, except that its candidates were selected in a party caucus.

Can’t you see the Democrats running an April campaign as “the party that lets the people participate?”

It could be a traditional campaign against the Good Ol’ Boys, even though they are only one-term deep.

It’s not as if the Grafton Township Republicans haven’t accomplished anything. The township’s real estate assessments are the most accurate in McHenry County. The township assessor has developed a comprehensive bus service for seniors. He runs a food pantry. I have heard no complaints about the township roads.

But the GOP could be vulnerable on the caucus issue, if they don’t hold a primary election and if the Dems are up to exploiting it.

The source documents follow, first the email from Township Chairman Tom Poznanski:

Mark your calendars


We will be having a meeting on Tues. November 18 at 7:00 P.M. sharp. In attendance will be our Republican Slate for the Grafton Township Elections. Bring your Questions and suggestion to have a no holds bard election results. We need to WIN all 8 Seats anything less just won’t do.

Executive Board will meet at 6:30 along with the Grafton Slate.

See you there

Next the one from Township Supervisor John Rossi:

To the Grafton Township Central Committee:

On Tuesday November 18th I will attend the central committee meeting with the other Grafton Township Elected Officials. As you are aware the local elections are right around the corner in April and I am pleased to report that our Republican Slate will remain together as candidates in 2009. I won’t be wearing any wrestling gear so I’m’ not sure about the no holds bard comment but I will be prepared to give you an understanding of where Township Government has come under our leadership. I will enjoy the opportunity to speak with all of you and share ideas on the efforts to coordinate between our campaign and the Central Committee.

Meeting Location:

Image Industries
11220 E. Main St.

Meeting Time: 7:00pm.


John Rossi
Township Supervisor
Grafton Township

Here are the Grafton Township Republican precinct committeemen, as shown on the McHenry County Republican web site:

  • GRA1 (A) Mike Skala ics@rsg.org 10612 Michael Street Huntley
  • GRA2 J S “Scott” Breeden scott@breeden.com 220 Richmond Lane CL
  • GRA3 (A) Howie Christensen howac6@aol.com 1132 North Shore Drive CL
  • GRA4 (A) Eric Ruth eruth@alliancecontractors.com 12415 North Lakeview Huntley
  • GRA5 (A) Brett Leiffer lbicorp@owc.net 98 S Heather CL
  • GRA6 Harriet Ford chief1999@aol.com 9301 Loch Glen Drive CL
  • GRA7 Frederick W Wickham fred@wickhaminteriors.com 811 Blue Mound CL
  • GRA8 Gary DiRenzo rockytv@comcast.net 1815 Kings Gate Lane CL
  • GRA10 (A) Gary Overbay goverbay@civiltechinc.com 1625 Flagstone Drive CL
  • GRA11 (A) Blake Hobson blakehobson@imageindustries.com 7370 Longmoor Lakewood
  • GRA12 (A) John Rossi j.rossi@sbcglobal.net 10124 Compton Drive Huntley
  • GRA13 Eugene Goeglein 71husker@comcast.net 3825 Peartree Drive LITH
  • GRA14 (A) Robert Kunz drkunz32@comcast.net 5431 Crossview LITH
  • GRA15 Daniel Ryan lizdanryan@comcast.net. 12849 Deer Meadow Huntley
  • GRA17 (A) Rob LaPorta robertlaporta@gmail.com 641 Goldenrod Drive Alg
  • GRA18 (A) William Henninger deftac1@dls.net 729 White Pines Circle LITH
  • GRA19 Samuel F Paglini dobabci@comcast.net 2871 Cadbury Circle LITH
  • GRA20 Glenn Schmeltzer glenn@theprimegroup.com 2911 Hillsboro Lane LITH
  • GRA21 (A) Rich Ford chief1999@aol.com 9301 Loch Glen Drive CL
  • GRA23 Joseph R Williams, Sr. sns0425@sbcglobal.net 10709 Nantucket Lane Huntley GRA24 Scott Dornhecker s.dornhecker09@comcast.net 10049 Thorton Way Huntley
  • GRA26 Linda I Moore abc135@mc.net 13718 Harmony Road Huntley
  • GRA27 (A) Joe Holtorf jholtorf@comcast.net 12065 Barton Avenue Huntley
  • GRA28 Tom Poznanski tpoz1215@aol.com 360 Warwick Lane LITH
  • GRA30 (A) Robert Vorisek rbv384@mc.net 1610 Broadway CL
  • GRA31 (A) Ryan Farrell 1582 Dogwood CL

The “A” in parentheses means the person did not run for the office, but was, instead, appointed.

= = = = =
The map is from City Data. I am pretty sure of the township’s eastern boundary, because Meridian Street (Gate 11, Gate 12), where we live is the boundary. I am less sure of the western boundary. I cropped the map which the web site displayed because it clearly contained the western part of Algonquin Township. You will notice that the map does not show Lake in the Hills extending as far west as it does.


Looks Like GOP Leaders Plan a Caucus in Grafton Township — 1 Comment

  1. A caucus is a perfectly legitimate way for political parties to nominate their candidates. Anyone is free to file petitions and run as an Independent. It is at the election itself that anyone can vote for the candidate of their choice.

    Why should the entire county pay for the primary election needed in a township to only nominate the candidates of one political party? Primary elections that have notoriously low turnouts but very high costs to take care of what is essentially a piece of party business.

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