Fox River Grove’s Robert Bless came out of nowhere to win the Republican nomination for McHenry County Board in 2008.
He beat two better known candidates:
- former Fox River Grove village president Bill Yocius, who ran against me in the 1992 primary for state representative, and
- long-time Algonquin Township Trustee Lowell Cutsworth
There was no Democrat on the ballot and Bless was elected to the County Board that fall.
Before he ran for re-election, however, problems surfaced.
You can read the August 30, 2010, complaint from the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Board here. All of the allegations are listed.
In the five-way post reapportionment race for four seats, the problems were severe enough that the Northwest Herald endorsed the three incumbent Republicans, plus newcomer Democrat Nick Chirikos.
The Daily Herald editorial endorsement skipped both Bless and Nowak, commenting, “Bless is passed up because of ‘a pending ethics investigation by the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission.’”
Chirikos spread the word about Bless’ problems as he was going door-to-door and beat him by 714 votes.
The results showed Bless losing to Chirikos by 714 votes:
- Anna May Miller – 11,566
- Robert Nowak – 11,403
- Yvonne Barnes – 10,873
- Nick Chirikos – 10,469
- Robert Bless – 10,159
The legal problems were well laid out by The First Electric Newspaper’s Pete Gonigam.