Candidates for local school boards have started filing their candidate papers with the Cook County Clerk’s Office at four locations in Chicago and the suburbs. School board candidates have until Dec. 21 to file if they plan on running for school board seats in the April 6, 2021 Consolidated Election. 

According to Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough, 482 candidates filed to run for school boards throughout Cook County on Dec. 14 — the first day for filing. 

As of early Tuesday morning, the clerk’s office showed at least 11 of those candidates are running for school boards in Oak Park.

Just two sitting District 200 board members — Craig Iseli and Tom Cofsky — filed on Dec. 14. There are currently four open seats on the D200 board. It isn’t clear yet if incumbents Matt Baron and Jackie Moore intend to run for re-election. 

Three challengers filed Monday for D200 board seats: former D200 board member Fred Arkin, River Forest attorney David Schrodt, Oak Park author and English professor Mary Anne Mohanraj, and Oak Park businessman Kebreab Henry, who has also served on the district’s Culture, Climate and Behavior Committee. 

Three people seeking election to the District 97 school board filed Monday: Jennifer Kovar, who serves on the Oak Park Disability Access Commission; research analyst Nancy Ross Dribin; Erin Connor; Jeremy Duffy; and Kate Odom, a clinical psychologist. 

Wednesday Journal is still looking for background information on Connor and Duffy. The D97 board has three seats open. No sitting D97 board members filed on Monday. 

More school board candidates could file throughout the week before the filing period ends on Dec. 21. All of the aforementioned candidates filed at 8 a.m., according to the clerk’s records. 

“All candidates who were in line by 8 a.m. on December 14 had their papers stamped with that time,” clerk’s office officials explained in a statement that day. “If more than one candidate seeking the same office filed at 8 a.m., a lottery will be conducted to determine whose name will appear first on the ballot. 

“Candidates for the same office who file between 4 and 5 p.m. on Dec. 21, the last day of filing, will also be included in a ballot lottery for the last spot on the ballot. Anyone who filed between 8:01 a.m. on Dec. 14 and 3:59 p.m. on Dec. 21 will be on the ballot in the order they turned in their nomination paperwork.” 

Candidates seeking other local elected positions, such as village, park district and library boards, are required to file with the district in which they’re running for an elected position. 

Once candidates file, citizens will have the opportunity to present objections to their candidacies. 

Wednesday Journal will provide updates as more school board candidates file with the clerk’s office now through the Dec. 21 deadline.


Three candidates for River Forest trustee

Three potential River Forest village trustees have filed petitions to run in the April election. Lisa Gillis, Ken Johnson and incumbent Respicio Vazquez officially made their intentions known by filing with village hall on Dec. 14. 

Like Vazquez, Thomas Cargie’s term is expiring this spring as well. Cargie has served as village trustee since 2013.

According to the village, nobody has yet filed for the position of clerk, currently held by Kathleen Brand-White, whose term expires in May 2021.

The deadline to file is Dec. 21 at 5 p.m.

Maria Maxham

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