The following was written by First Electric Newspaper publisher Pete Gonigam and graciously shared with McHenry County Blog readers:
McHenry Dems Pick State Rep. Jack Franks For County Board Chairman
The McHenry County Democratic Central Committee in caucus Sunday picked 63rd District State Rep. Jack Franks to run against Republican Mike Walkup to become the County’s first directly-elected County Board Chairman in November.
Saturday the Committee added nominees for two more Board Districts, slating Lake in the Hills Trustee Paula Yensen to run in District 5 and Cary resident Kathryn Potter in District 1.
Franks still has to circulate and file nominating petitions for the Chairman’s spot but Sunday’s choice makes him unofficially a candidate for two offices simultaneously.
He told Central Committee members he planned to abandon the race to represent all but the southeast corner of McHenry County in Springfield next term as soon as they can pick a replacement.
Later, in a First Electric Newspaper interview, Franks qualified that saying he’d give up the Rep. race if the Committee can pick another candidate who’s both “electable” and holds a political outlook consistent with his own.
Franks won the Democratic Primary running unopposed. Harvard attorney Steve Reick was the GOP winner.
The vote for Franks as Board Chairman candidate wasn’t unanimous, however, Former Algonquin County Board Member Nick Chirikos was the lone naysayer.
“He has never supported our local party in any way, shape or form until it suited his interests,”
Chirikos told FEN.
Crystal Lake lawyer Mike Walkup won the Republican Primary for County Board Chair but Franks didn’t have much to say about his new opponent besides scoffing at his defense in the still unfolding County Board IMRF possibly fraudulent pensions controversy.
“C’mon. You’re an attorney and you didn’t read what you were signing?” he snarked..
What Franks briefly outlined sounded more like a campaign against the entire McHenry County Board, currently an exclusively Republican domain.
“I feel compelled to fix the problems created by this Board.”
“I’m embarrassed by the inefficiency and the corruption they’ve created.”
Franks said he’d push to shrink the Board from 24 members, four at large in each of 6 districts, to only 16 in as many single-member ones.
“That would be representative,” he said.
He also said he wanted to shrink the number of Board committees from 12 to 7.
Separately, Yensen told FEN that LITH trustee and County Board member are legally incompatible offices so if she wins a return to the County Board she will resign her seat on the Village panel.
Franks told fellow candidates the way to victory was to get out and campaign hard every day.
He said that’s what he planned to do, only not yet because the Legislature will be in session for the next couple of weeks.
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Of course, Franks promised not to run for County Board Chairman, as the following Northwest Herald headline shows: