Two more have added their names to the list of local candidates seeking public office in 2016.
Leo Stephan of Waterloo has announced his candidacy for Monroe County Commissioner as a Democrat.
Wayne “Doc” Kohlmeier announced his candidacy for Monroe County coroner on the Republican ticket.
Stephan works for Warma Witter Kreisler Insurance Agency in O’Fallon, specializing in insurance coverages and providing consultation to counties, cities and townships in the region.
He also deals in the resolution of arbitration cases.
Stephan previously worked for Country Insurance and Financial Services as a property and casualty district claims manager. He supervised more than 125 employees working in 62 counties in Illinois and five counties in the St. Louis area, and was responsible for a multi-million dollar budget.
“I gained valuable business knowledge and experience that will help me in the position of county board commissioner,” he said.
He and wife, Patsy, have four grown children and nine grandchildren.
“My hobby is the culinary art of BBQ and a game of golf, when permitting,” he said.
Stephan is part owner of Hot Mess BBQ, a Columbia-Waterloo-based competitive BBQ team that competes in regional and national competitions and has won numerous awards.
“I look forward to the upcoming election year and hopefully being elected commissioner and having the privilege of serving all residents of Monroe County,” he said.
Kohlmeier, 68, graduated from Waterloo High School in 1965 and has operated a chiropractic office in Waterloo for 40 years. He also has offices in Red Bud and Sparta.
He will run against fellow Republican coroner candidate Bob Hill in the March primary. Cassy Diehl Goldschmidt is also running for coroner as a Democrat.
“My healthcare training and deep roots in the county community will allow me to ensure that this office is focused on the needs of the people,” Kohlmeier said. “I think with all my qualifications, I’d be pretty good for the job.”
In order to practice in Waterloo, he passed the Illinois medical boards, which are the same tests taken by MDs, osteopaths and chiropractors before they can receive their respective licenses. He has been elected to the offices of president, secretary and treasurer of the Illinois Chiropractic Society.
“I continue to complete 60 hours of medical education every year to maintain my chiropractic license,” he said.
Kohlmeier has also been active in the community by developing two Waterloo subdivisions (Vandebrook and Westview). A father of four grown children with two grandchildren, Kohlmeier is also a champion Kloepper card player for the Freeda’s team in Renault.
“I am available 24 hours a day and seven days a week to devote to this position,” he said. “In times of loss, citizens expect professionalism, compassion and empathy from the coroner’s office, and that is just what I intend to continue providing if elected.”
In addition to these newest candidates, others running for local offices include Republicans Myron Hanna and Chris Hitzemann and and Democrats Dennis Field and Heather Dabler for state’s attorney, Republican Lisa Fallon and Democrat Sandy Sauget for circuit clerk, and Republicans Mark Altadonna and Vicki Koerber for county commissioner.
Another local, Waterloo resident Paul Schimpf, is running for the state senate seat being vacated by longtime Sen. Dave Luechtefeld (R-Okawville). He faces a challenge in the Republican primary from Murphysboro attorney Sharee Langenstein. Democrat Sheila Simon is also running for the state senate seat.