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Lauzen wins Kane chairman race

Sarah Chris Lauzen visit with supporters RobKatie Lawsfrom left DonnNeely an electinight celebratifor Kane County Republicans Tuesday Geneva.
Mary Beth Nolan~For

Sarah and Chris Lauzen visit with supporters Robin and Katie Lawson, from left and Donna Neely at an election night celebration for Kane County Republicans Tuesday in Geneva. Mary Beth Nolan~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: December 8, 2012 6:08AM

Chris Lauzen will take over in December as the new chairman of the Kane County Board.

Lauzen, a longtime state senator from Aurora, topped Democrat Sue Klinkhamer by about 20,000 votes in the race for the top seat on the board.

Shortly after 10 p.m. Tuesday, Klinkhamer, the former mayor of St. Charles, called Lauzen to concede the race.

Lauzen watched the results pour in Tuesday at Aurelio’s Pizza in Geneva with a contingent of Kane County Republicans.

He now faces taking the reins of a county board with a brand new composition, after all 24 seats were up for re-election due to redistricting.

“I’m very grateful for the landslide support and I’m excited about the challenges,” Lauzen said.

He said he looks forward to beginning the job.

“Kane County government is going to save the taxpayers money,” he said.

The candidates took decidedly different approaches to the campaign. Lauzen ran an organized campaign, netting more than $50,000 in contributions. He has also said in the past not to expect any political favor for making donations.

Klinkhamer decided to double down on a campaign strategy that worked for her in the Democratic primary against former Carpentersville Mayor Bill Sarto.

Since voters talk about not liking the negative campaign ads, robo-calls and the intense campaigning that goes along with election season, Klinkhamer decided not to seek any political contributions. The strategy worked in the primary, and she wanted to test it again in the general election. She asked any potential donors instead to give to the Kane County social services agency of their choice.

Lauzen and Klinkhamer disagreed on how to handle several key issues. Klinkhamer was in favor of hiring an administrator for the county, and paying for it by reducing the size of the county board from 24 to 18 members, and reducing the chairman salary by $25,000.

Lauzen does not want to hire an administrator. He has a background as an accountant, and has said that that experience would help him to be able to handle the financial side of the job.

Lauzen has also come out in the past in favor of freezing the county’s tax levy, since the value of homes in the area is going down. Klinkhamer did not want to freeze the levy. She said that a freeze might hamstring the county in a crisis.

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