When Naperville’s 2015 mayoral election began a few months ago after petitions were submitted, there were five candidates hoping to replace retiring Naperville mayor George Pradel after his 20-year reign.
One candidate (Matthew Dubiel) quickly exited after determining he did not meet the residency requirement. Living in unincorporated Naperville doesn’t work, when it comes to getting elected mayor.
Then two of the remaining four candidates each said something, that in essence eliminated themselves from serious consideration. Jim Haselhorst said, “I don’t think there’s a person on the planet that could take George Pradel’s place”, and retired fire fighter Marty Walker said, he doesn’t suppose anyone can replace George Pradel. If what they are saying is true, and they must believe it, then neither can replace Pradel so that brings it down to a two-candidate race for mayor of Naperville, either councilmen Doug Krause or Steve Chirico.
Krause, 67, a realtor by profession has been on the council since dirt was new in 1989; that’s a total of 26 years. This is his fifth attempt to take the gavel from Pradel. Krause is going for double or nothing; he’s putting it all on the line for one roll of the dice. He either gets elected mayor, or he departs from the city council, and becomes a footnote in Naperville politics.
Chirico, 54, a life-long resident of Naperville, is a local businessman (owner of Great Western Flooring) and has been on the council for four years. Chirico is also putting it all on the line. He either becomes the mayor of Naperville, or takes his council nameplate and goes home.
Krause often finds himself on the short-end of the vote. He is quick to take the minority or opposing view point, and his position gets voted down. He has been an advocate for the residents of Naperville, and seems to relish in being a swizzle-stick at the dais. Krause likes to ‘mix it up’ wanting to drive change, but unable to build a consensus, he is left to hang-out to dry.
Chirico on the other hand, attempts to build through consensus which is a strong leadership dimension. He also seeks to drive change, but does so in a less abrasive manner. He has the temperament to ‘tell someone to go to hell’ and make them happy they are going. In politics, as in business, that’s a gift.
Should Krause get elected and possibly serve three terms until term limits force him out, he could hang on until he’s almost 80 with almost 40 years of total service in council chambers.
If Chirico wins and Krause losses the election, the real question will be, what in the world will Krause do with almost 30 years worth of those green ‘Elect Krause’ campaign yard signs. Could that be part of the reason the recycling center was located in Naperville?