Daily Herald

The fields for contested mayoral races in Naperville, Wheaton and Downers Grove began taking shape Monday as the filing period for municipal elections began in several DuPage County communities.

The filing period in those three towns — as well as Aurora, where there is no mayoral opening, will close at the end of the day Nov. 26.

Here’s an early look at what’s happening:

Naperville

Election filing began in Naperville with a high level of interest from nine candidates for four available city council seats and two candidates seeking to be the city’s next mayor.

Mayor Steve Chirico, who is rounding out his first term succeeding the late George Pradel, joined the line saying he’s ready to lead for another four years, working on priorities such as filling vacant commercial buildings, revitalizing the 5th Avenue area around the train station and keeping the city’s finances strong with debt reduction measures.

Filing to oppose Chirico was Rocky Caylor, a Marine veteran who runs a consulting company with his wife and is CEO of a logistics firm in Joliet, who says he has experience building businesses, workforces and economies.

“For nearly two years, neighbors, friends and family have encouraged me to take a leadership role in Naperville and now just seems like the right time,” Caylor said in a news release.

Two sitting council members filed nominating petitions at 8 a.m. seeking to retain their seats, three-term council member Paul Hinterlong, and first-term member Patty Gustin.

Hinterlong’s filing came with wishes of “happy birthday” from city staff members. Gustin said she’s running to continue to support fiscal solvency, business growth and Naperville’s “families-first focus.”

Former city council member David Wentz filed to seek a new term, as did planning and zoning commission member Bruce Hanson and liquor commission member Whitney Robbins.

Wentz said he wants to work to maintain the city’s AAA bond rating and emphasis on public safety.

“I’d like to continue to promote programs that further those causes,” he said, along with working to support youths and seniors.

Hanson, who has served on city commissions since 2003, said in a news release he wants to balance the needs of businesses and families, especially as a business owner and father himself.

And Robbins, who grew up in Naperville, said she wants to be more involved as her own kids grow up in town.

“I had a great upbringing here and I want to ensure the future of Naperville,” she said.

Newcomers include Bradford Miller, Theresa Sullivan, Michele Hilger Clemen and Patrick Kelly.

Miller described himself as a fiscal conservative and said he wants to have a say in development projects in south Naperville and downtown.

Sullivan, who has one child at each level in elementary, middle and high school, said she wants to protect Naperville’s families as its strongest asset.

Hilger Clemen also wants to leave a better future to up-and-coming families.

“I want to protect all of the hard work of all of the Napervillians that came before me,” she said.

Kelly, too, says he wants to be more involved in city governance as his three young kids grow up, providing a voice for the next generation.

An election lottery is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4, at the Naperville Municipal Center to determine ballot placement for these nine council and two mayoral candidates, who are considered to have filed simultaneously.

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