Watchdog’s website has a “Countdown To The 2019 Election” currently showing 303 days, 15 hours. 11 minutes, and 31 seconds, until the good folks of Naperville either rehire or fire council members (Becky Anderson, Patty Gustin, Paul Hinterlong and Rebecca Obarski) along with Mayor Steve Chirico running for office. Some council members will likely get bounced out, as they should; fresh thinking is always welcome.
However, when it comes Mayor Chirico, is anybody willing to run against him? Maybe, but what are the chances of someone unseating Chirico? Probably as likely as the Chicago White Sox rebuilding plan being successful, which is next to zero. It’s not easy unseating an incumbent, especially if the incumbent is getting the job done, which Chirico is doing.
Former Naperville Mayor George Pradel’s nemesis during election time was councilman Doug Krause, who holds the record for second-place finishes. Krause finally got tired of losing, so he not only left the council, he also left Illinois. Who on the council wants to be the next Krause? Councilman Paul Hinterlong could be a Krause wanna-be, but he would only lose once to Chirico because term limits dictate how many times Hinterlong would get pounded by Chirico.
There are a few current council members (Rebecca Obarski and Kevin Coyne) with the talent to lead Naperville, but the only advantage to running and losing to Chirico would be to position themselves as front runners in the next election (2023) when Chirico packs it in for greener pastures as his two-term limit makes him part of Naperville’s history.
That leaves Chirico with a dilemma; what if no one runs against him? What’s the fun of winning an election by getting one vote, like a third-world country. This year alone Chirico has raised more than $50,000 in campaign contributions, probably $49,000 more than he needs to win.
To make it more of a challenge (actually fun) for him, would be for Chirico to offer anyone willing to run against him $10,000 worth of yard signs. He could become the first Naperville mayoral candidate to donate to a competitor’s campaign, maybe the first in the country, and still win the election convincingly.