Although no one filed nominating petitions prior to the December 2016 deadline to run for River Forest village clerk, three write-in candidates now have emerged to replace Village Clerk Sharon Halperin.

Laura Chiero-Perna, Kathleen White and Calvin R. Davis submitted write-in applications with the Cook County Board of Elections by the Feb. 2 filing deadline. 

White, an assistant to the nurse with Lyons Township High School, has been a River Forest resident for 21 years and decided only recently to be a write-in.

Friends had mentioned to her that no one was running for village clerk and wondered what she thought about running as a write-in. She considered it and made up her mind.

“It’s been a privilege to raise a family here,” the 53-year-old White said. “Being the clerk seemed like an interesting place for me to contribute.”

White’s community activities have centered around schools. She was on the River Forest District 90 Community Caucus, served as PTO president at Lincoln Elementary School and was active in the district’s referendum drive. She also was chairwoman of the citizens’ council at Oak Park and River Forest High School.

She said running for the school board was not the way she wanted to contribute to the community. 

“It was not the best fit for me,” she said. 

Davis tossed his hat into the ring as write in for village clerk even though he’s also a candidate for the River Forest Park Board. According to the Cook County Clerk, Davis can run for two offices, since he is on the ballot for one office and the offices are not incompatible. The law does not affect write-in candidates. 

Davis did not return telephone calls seeking comment, but said in an email, “I am very excited about the possibility of working with a great group of people. I have always been involved with my community, and I see this as a great opportunity to continue serving.” 

As to why he wants to run for the park board, Davis noted in another email that he wants to promote programs for all of River Forest and collaborate with its partners on certain programs. As village clerk he wants to actively participate in the growth and expansion of the village. 

In wanting to run for both, he said in an email that “the leadership in our community does not currently reflect diversity in our community,” he said. 

Perna’s profile lists her as a political consultant. Her profile also states she served nearly 12 years as a coordinator of agency initiatives with non-profit and government entities, but the state agency was not included. She also served one term as a park district commissioner in Oak Park.

Efforts to reach Perna were unsuccessful.

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