Cantore in lead for DuPage Forest chief nomination

Forest Preserve District of DuPage County board member Mary Lou Wehrli ran against fellow board member Joe Cantore in their quests to be the Republican Party’s nominee this fall for the board presidency.

As of 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, Cantore appeared to be leading Wehrli by a fairly decisive margin of 64 percent to 36 percent.

“I’m humbled by all of the support I’ve received over the past year,” Cantore said via telephone about 8:45 p.m. Tuesday. “It was a long, tough campaign.”

“My opponent ran a clean, ethical race that centered on issues,” Cantore said of Wehrli. “And no matter what tonight’s outcome might be, I look forward to continuing working with her on the board in the years to come.”

Wehrli in December survived a challenge to some of the signatures on her nominating papers, a challenge that would have seen her booted off the ballot had it been successful.

A longtime Naperville resident and member of a prominent local family, she joined the board in 2012, after filling a wide variety of local and regional roles.

Her experience in elected office includes a 1999-2005 stint on the Naperville Park District board.

Wehrli is married to Herb Nadelhoffer. She does sales and design work for Wehrli Resources and works in property management for Wellstead Management.

Cantore, who was first elected to the board in 2002, is a four-year veteran of the Oakbrook Terrace City Council. He lives in Oak Brook with his wife and their infant son and works in real estate management.

Cantore has characterized his management style as “one of inclusiveness” and consensus-building.

“As forest preserve president, I believe I can have a greater impact in accomplishing the district’s mission by helping establish policies and practices that would ensure sustainability for future generations,” Cantore said. “The mission and vision of the forest preserve district is one that personally resonates. Put simply, I love the forest preserve.”

Longtime board President D. “Dewey” Pierotti Jr. stepped down after holding the post since 1994. He earned an annual salary and benefits totaling $149,577.

No Democrats have filed to oppose Cantore or Wehrli in the Nov. 4 general election.