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Local

Lee’s longtime Democratic chief leaves

Whiteside gets new GOP leader

DIXON – Republicans win most political offices in Lee County, but not all.

“There are people who thought they had to be Republican to be elected, but that didn’t hold true,” said Jerry Sheridan, who left as the county’s Democratic Party chairman last week. “At different times, we have had the treasurer’s office, [regional] superintendent of schools, and state’s attorney.”

And in 2012, the County Board appointed Amboy Democrat Rick Ketchum as its chairman, even though only four of its 24 members are Democrats.

Last week, Sheridan, 67, decided against running for another term as chairman. Party members chose Kasey Considine, a board member from Amboy, as his replacement.

“It’s time for the younger generation to take over,” Sheridan said. “I’ve been involved for many, many years. It was time for new people. I’m proud to have been the leader to build the Democratic side of Lee County.”

Sheridan said he had been active in the county’s Democratic Party for four decades, about 20 years of which he served as chairman.

Unlike Lee County, Whiteside County traditionally has more Democratic representation, with the party making up the county board’s majority for the last couple of decades. This is helped by a working-class base, a result of the old steel mill, Sheridan said.

“That’s where they come up with their Democratic side,” he said.

Last week, county parties elected their officers. Steve Wilkins was re-elected the chairman of Whiteside’s Democratic Party, and Greg Witzleb as the chairman of Lee’s Republican Party.

Meanwhile, the Whiteside County Republican Party elected a new chairman, Kurt Glazier, a Whiteside County Board member from Sterling. He took over for Jerri Robinson, who served 2 years.

“I told them I would do this for one term,” she said. “I’ll be Kurt’s secretary.”

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