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Fiscal conservative leaving county board

Most members poised to seek re-election

Dick Binder
Dick Binder

DIXON – Nearly all Lee County Board members up for election next year appear to be seeking re-election. But at least one key member is not.

Dick Binder, R-Compton, said Monday he wants to leave, in part, for personal reasons. The 74-year-old joked he wouldn’t be able to vote for himself if he did run because he doesn’t support anyone 75 or older.

Binder has been one of a small band of fiscal conservatives on the 24-member board. He has routinely warned his colleagues of shortfalls in the county’s main fund. And he has called for more consistency in approving the filling of county jobs, persuading his colleagues to vote for a resolution to that effect.

At the end of his current term, he will have served 14 years on the board.

Another member, Ryan Marshall, R-Dixon, also said he wouldn’t seek a full 4-year term on the County Board, which appointed him earlier this year to replace Dave Chandler, R-Dixon, who had resigned.

Marshall said he was leaving because he needs to focus on his business.

“When they asked me to fill the seat, I was interested and gave it a shot,” he said.
“I have learned a lot, but it is such a large time commitment. A year and a half I can do, but after that, I can’t.”

Board Chairman Rick Ketchum, D-Amboy, said he had heard that all but a few board members had picked up their petition forms from the county clerk’s office. Candidates have from Nov. 25 to Dec. 2 to file their forms.

Of the board’s 24 members, only four are Democrats. But the Republican majority looked past that last year when it elected Ketchum, a staunch Democrat with a union background, as its chairman.

“Our party is trying to encourage people to run,” Ketchum said.

Candidates collect signatures

People have been picking up petition forms at the Lee County clerk's office to run for county offices, including County Board, sheriff, treasurer and clerk. 

For County Board, candidates are required to have a certain number of signatures, depending on a formula based on past elections. No board candidate needs more than 20, according to the clerk's office. 

Candidates must file their petitions between Nov. 25 and Dec. 2.

The seats for half of the County Board's 24 members are up for election next year:

District 1

• David Gusse, R-Dixon

• Vern Gottel, R-rural Sterling

• Marilyn Shippert, R-Dixon

District 2

• Dick Binder, R-Compton

• Gerald Leffelman, R-Sublette

• Allyn Buhrow, R-Ashton

District 3

• Bernie Buckley, R-Dixon

• Isaac Mercer, D-Dixon

• Tom Kitson, R-Dixon

District 4

• Jim Wentling, R-Dixon

• Bill Palen, R-Dixon

• Marvin Williams, R-Dixon

• Ryan Marshall, R-Dixon

Call the county clerk's office at 815-288-3309.

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