Rock Falls candidates can start filing Monday

December 8, 2018

ROCK FALLS – Filing season opens Monday for candidates for city offices that will be on the April 2, 2019 Consolidated Election ballot.

Election paperwork has been available at the city clerk’s office since September, but they can’t be returned and filed until 8 a.m. Monday. Those wanting to run for an elective office have until 5 p.m. Dec. 17 to bring their papers back to City Clerk Eric Arduini’s office.

All of the expiring terms this time around come on the City Council. Rock Falls has eight council members – two from each of four wards. The terms are staggered, but both 4th Ward seats will be up in April. Incumbents Lee Folsom and Violet Sobottka are expected to run again.

“All of the incumbents for the expiring council seats have picked up their paperwork,” Arduini said.

No challengers have been in to ask for election papers, but they still have until Dec. 17 to emerge.

Folsom ran without opposition in 2015, and Sobottka was appointed by Mayor Bill Wescott to fill a 8-month vacancy in the 4th Ward.

One seat from each of the other three wards will be up for grabs in April. The incumbents there are Daehle Reitzel in the 1st Ward, Glen Kuhlemier in the 2nd Ward, and Rod Kleckler in the 3rd Ward.

In April 2015, Kleckler defeated Dave Hand, who had been on the council for 24 years. Former Sterling alderwoman Linda Pennell also ran, further splitting the votes in that race. Kleckler had lost to Hand by a single vote in a previous run.

Like Folsom, Reitzel and Kuhlemier ran unopposed in their last races.

Wescott was sworn in for his second stint as mayor in 2017, and his term won’t be up until 2021. Arduini and Treasurer Kay Abner also had an unobstructed path to re-election in 2017.

Another seat on the council will be filled long before the next election. Wescott is looking for someone to fill the vacancy in the 1st Ward created by the resignation of George Logan Jr.

Logan had been on the council since 2014, when he was appointed to fill another unexpired term. That term doesn’t expire until 2021, which could work in the mayor’s favor.

“I think that it could make it a little easier to find a replacement if they know they won’t have to run for a while to keep the seat,” Wescott said.

Wescott was optimistic that he could bring a recommendation to the council when it next meets on Dec. 18.

Rock Falls, because it has a city administrator form of government, has a later filing period than many towns. In Sterling, paperwork was accepted from Nov. 19 through Nov. 26. A mayoral race and four council seats will be on the April ballot for Sterling voters.

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