Divide and Conquer

McHenry County Board Chairman Ken Koehler

McHenry County Board member Lyn Orphal

There’s a five-way race for two seats in the Crystal Lake-Lake in the Hills District 2.

The incumbents are County Board Chairman Ken Koehler and Lyn Orphal.

Challenging them are three women:

  • Sandra DePual, a member of the Regional Board of School Trustees
  • McHenry County College Board member Donna Kurtz
  • Crystal Lake City Councilwoman Ellen Brady Mueller

McHenry County Regional Board of School Trustee Sandra DePaul

If one were to handicap this race, Sandra DePaul would be coming in last place…just because she is the only candidate who is virtually unknown as a result of the low profile position she holds.

So, what’s up with the Northwest Herald’s endorsement of DePaul, along with the perfectly predictable endorsement of Koehler.

Let’s begin by making the perfectly reasonable assumption that the primary goal of the paper is to get Koehler re-elected.

To do that one must split the opposition.

If two women were running against Koehler, he might have some trouble.

But with five women…split the vote evenly and just over 20% of the vote is enough to win.

McHenry County College Board Trustee Donna Kurtz

Let’s agree that it won’t be split even.

Orphal, although able to manage to put out a letter to Republican voters the same day Koehler early this week, is the more vulnerable of the two candidates. Even though in her second term, she does not have a lot of name identification.

So, with Kurtz charging hard and Brady Mueller having quite noticeable signs, how to pull votes to perhaps the least known of the female candidates?

Endorse her along with Koehler.

That will pull some votes to DePaul that otherwise would go to one of the better known women.

Crystal Lake City Councilwoman Ellen Brady Mueller

Koehler will probably get more than enough of the combined vote to win. Surely being chairman of the board, he ought to be able to do that.

He will remember how a strong-charging Leslie Root managed to beat out then-County Board Chairwoman Dianne Klemm, however. In that contest, Mike Tryon was on the ballot. He and Root beat Klemm.

In this race, I can’t point to the second candidate who could beat Koehler.

One final thought.

The Northwest Herald also managed to pick two people who hd not filled out the ALAW conflict of interest questionnaire. The only candidate in District 1 to have done so when the endorsement appeared was Donna Kurtz.  Now, all but Koehler have answered ALAW ethics form, not because they were forced, but voluntarily.

From left to right are Sandra DePaul, Lyn Orphal, Ken Koehler's empty seat, Ellen Brady Mueller and Donna Kurtz. They were participating in Patriots United county board candidates' forum.

In the Patriots Unity county board candidates’ forum Friday night, the only candidate in District 2 who did not come was County Board Chairman Koehler.

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