Lisle Township GOP caucus draws hundreds
By Cathy Janek For The Sun December 7, 2012 10:20AM
Updated: January 10, 2013 6:28AM
Things are settling down now in Lisle Township after a jam-packed caucus earlier this week.
A portion of eastern Naperville is in Lisle Township.
With more than 600 residents in attendance for the Lisle Township Republican caucus Tuesday, the group selected the current incumbents to be the GOP nominees for the April 9 general election for township offices.
With contested elections in every position with the exception of assessor, the Lisle Township Republicans saw the largest turnout in 12 years, according to Highway Commissioner Charles Clarke, who received the group’s support at the caucus.
Current Supervisor Richard Tarulis defeated Charles Schneider by 362 to 244 votes to earn support for the supervisor position. Tarulis is a partner with the Naperville law firm Brooks, Adams & Tarulis. He was appointed township clerk in 2002 and subsequently was elected in 2005. On Sept. 1, Tarulis was appointed to fill the role of township supervisor when Clarke, the former supervisor, was appointed to be the highway commissioner.
In the clerk’s race, Robert Klaeren edged out Lynda Filipello by a vote of 349 to 249. Klaeren shifted to the clerk’s role in September after being one of four township trustees for seven years.
Incumbent Highway Commissioner Clarke defeated Vito Modica, who is an existing Lisle Township trustee, by a littler over 100 votes for highway commissioner position. Following the death of the Lisle Township highway commissioner this summer, Clarke, who had been the township supervisor, took over the highway commissioner job.
“We had to get this position filled because we had bills to pay,” Clarke said. “I have served as trustee, clerk, and supervisor for Lisle Township and earlier in the year I said I wouldn’t serve as supervisor again.”
He agreed to take over the highway commissioner job, but stressed, if elected, this will be his final term.
“This is my last election,” Clarke said.
In the trustee race for the Republican nomination of Lisle Township, the two sitting trustees Michael Riedy and Michael Tams each garnered a spot on the Republican ballot. Newcomers K. “Sharon” Connell and Ed Young fill out the Republican slate for the four township trustee slots.
Richard Rekash and Teresa A. Lohse who also ran at the Republican caucus for one of four trustee positions fell short of receiving enough votes.
Incumbent Township Assessor John Trowbridge ran unopposed at the Republican caucus. Trowbridge has been the assessor for Lisle Township since 1993 and carries the designation of a Certified Illinois Assessing Official. In many townships, the assessor’s race faces less opposition since it is difficult to find qualified candidates who also happen to live in the township.
“At the Lisle Township Republican Organization, we are all about transparency,” Mike Loftus, Lisle Township Republican caucus chairman said. “Some townships organizations have an internal meeting to slate the candidates that they will offer to the public at the caucus. The Lisle organization, without agreeing or disagreeing with other township organizations decision to slate, prefers a process which is open to the public.
“In the case of the recent caucus, we had internal challenges to each of the offices at the township with the exception of assessor,” he said. “If we were to slate, the elected precinct committeemen of the organization would vote for the candidates and then present them to the public at the caucus for a vote.”
At the caucus, each candidate was allowed to give a one and a half minute presentation to the voters as agreed to by the voters in attendance, according to Loftus.
“Time was set aside for each candidate to be interviewed by voters in a face to face discussion, prior to the voter casting their ballot,” he said.
“This is democracy in action. The fact that over 600 people participated in the caucus, shows the value in this approach,” Loftus said.
At the Lisle Township Democratic Caucus, Alica Wilson was nominated to be township clerk, Anna Banks Simeon, chairwoman of the organization, said. In addition, the following candidates were nominated for township trustees: Soo Chang, Tony Fuscone, Kaleshia “Kay” Page and Anna Schiefelbein.
While not supporting a full slate for the general election, Banks Simeon noted that the Lisle Township Democrats wanted to support candidates qualified for the township positions.