Three men — two Republicans and one Democrat — last week announced their candidacies for various Monroe County offices in the 2014 election.
Tuesday marked the first day for prospective candidates to begin circulating petitions for next year’s primary election. The amount of signatures required varies by party, Monroe County Clerk Dennis Knobloch said, because it is calculated on the amount of votes cast in the last general election.
Republican candidates for county offices need 73 signatures, while Democrats need 69.
The candidate filing period runs Nov. 25 through Monday, Dec. 2, excluding Nov. 28-29, when the courthouse will be closed for Thanksgiving.
Bob Elmore of Waterloo, a second-term Republican 17th Precinct commiteeman, said Friday he is running for Monroe County commissioner. Barring a challenge within his own party during the primary, he will try to unseat incumbent Democrat Mike Kovarik on the Monroe County Board.
Elmore is a retired sales manager for Anderson News Company. He and wife, Shirley, lived and worked in Springfield for most of their lives before coming to Waterloo.
“Shirley has relatives in Southern Illinois, and after many visits to the area, we decided that we wanted to relocate here… and now we love Waterloo and Monroe County!” Elmore said.
Shirley is retired from the Illinois State Senate, where she had worked as a legislative assistant.
The Elmores are members of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Waterloo. Together, they have six children and 14 grandchildren.
“I am a concerned taxpayer and on a fixed income, so I carefully watch how I spend my money,” Elmore said. “If elected as Monroe County commissioner, I would apply that principal to how the taxpayers’ monies are spent.”
Another Republican, 35-year-old Hecker resident Neal Rohlfing, formally announced his candidacy for Monroe County sheriff during the Republican Party BBQ held Thursday evening at Lakeview Park in Waterloo.
He will go up against former Waterloo police chief Joe Brauer in the spring Republican party primary election. Longtime Monroe County Sheriff’s Department Captain Dennis Schreder recently announced his candidacy for the Democrats.
All are seeking to succeed Monroe County Sheriff Dan Kelley, who recently announced he will retire at the end of his current term. Rohlfing, a Red Bud native, has worked for the Fairview Heights Police Department since 2001, and also served with the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department Drug Tactical Unit from 2006 to 2007. He has worked with the Drug Enforcement Administration since 2010.
“One of my main reasons for running for sheriff is I have been concerned with the spike in heroin and methamphetamine use,” Rohlfing said. “I have a lot of experience in drug enforcement and feel I can bring a lot to the county.”
His list of honors and awards includes Fairview Heights Police Patrolman of the Year in 2003, 2004 and 2009, the Aggressive Criminal Enforcement Award (2003 to 2005, 2008 to 2009) and Mothers Against Drunk Driving Hero Award from 2003 to 2005.
“I am asking for your support to lead Monroe County into a new era where proactive problem solving, responsibility, and accountability take main stage in a campaign for building a stronger tomorrow — not only for the county as a whole, but also for each citizen,” Rohlfing issued in a letter to voters.
The third candidate to announce last week was Barrie Scott of Waterloo, who will run as a Democrat for Monroe County assessor.
Scott is an architect who moved his office to Waterloo in 1994. He has planned and designed numerous local buildings and structures in Monroe County.
Since 2011, Scott has served on the Monroe County Board of Review, which reviews and decides appeals of property assessments after local property owners are advised of their annual tax assessments.
He is a member of the Waterloo Rotary Club, and served as the club’s treasurer for two years. Scott is also a member of the Kaskaskia Trail Chorus.
Scott said that he first became interested in running for county assessor after he began serving on the Board of Review.
“After reviewing so many property assessment appeals filed by Monroe County property owners, it became clear to me that we needed to do a better job of assessing property in Monroe County,” he said. “It’s not only important that the assessments be done accurately and according to well-recognized and logical principles, but that property owners feel that they’ve been treated fairly during the assessment process.
He said it is also very important that local bodies which depend on property tax revenue, such as school districts and fire protection districts, are able to rely on assessments being issued on time “so that their revenue can be received in a timely manner.”
Scott has taken and passed the numerous courses required for all assessor candidates in Illinois and is a Certified Illinois Assessing Officer.
Scott and wife, Quinta, a professional photographer and author, have two sons and three grandchildren.
The county assessor position has been held by Republican Carl Wuertz since May 2006. Wuertz was not challenged in the 2010 election.