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Midterms 2018: Here are the races to watch in McHenry County

Hultgren vs. Underwood, Casten vs. Roskam and McHenry referendums all garner high interest

The midterm elections are here, and McHenry County residents have many races of great interest to them on the ballot.

The Northwest Herald will be updating readers with election results on Election Central throughout the night, but here are some of the races readers will want to keep an eye on:

14th Congressional District

Naperville Democrat and nurse Lauren Underwood has made health care a cornerstone of her campaign to dethrone incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren.

Hultgren has been representing the 14th Congressional District – which covers parts of DeKalb, McHenry, Kendall, Lake, DuPage and Will counties – since 2011. Underwood shifted to politics after former President Barack Obama appointed her a senior adviser in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Underwood has criticized Hultgren for voting to repeal Obamacare and its protections for people with pre-existing conditions, but the Plano incumbent has defended himself, claiming he would vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act if a replacement that included protections for people facing pre-existing conditions is brought forward.

Hultgren holds one of the seats Democrats hope to turn Tuesday with a so-called blue wave to retake the U.S. House of Representatives.

6th Congressional District

Incumbent U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Wheaton, has his work cut out for him against challenging Downers Grove Democrat Sean Casten.

The highly competitive race has sparked national interest, as Roskam holds one of the 23 seats Democrats hope to flip to retake the U.S. House.

Roskam has accused Casten of mudslinging and unfairly tying him to President Donald Trump. Casten has painted Roskam as a flip-flopper and Trump enabler.

McHenry County Board

County Board Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 all have seats up for grabs.

The night's storyline could involve the incumbents holding their ground or challenging Democrats putting down stakes in a historically Republican county.

All candidates for Districts 1, 2 and 3 said they support reducing the size of the County Board. McHenry County’s existing board members voted earlier this year to reduce the number of members from 24 to 18. Those changes are expected to take effect with the 2022 election.

McHenry County clerk

The two men hoping to become McHenry County clerk both have promised to safeguard elections and smoothly fold the recorder’s office into the clerk’s office.

And one of those men already is working as the county's recorder: Joe Tirio, a Woodstock Republican who says he would hold both offices if elected.

Drew Georgi, a Democrat from Hebron, said he’s worried voter equipment is not kept in a secure location and would work to improve the election process.

In March, McHenry County residents overwhelmingly voted to eliminate the recorder’s office and fold it into the clerk’s office. The office will cease to exist Dec. 1, 2020.

The county clerk’s office now is held by Mary McClellan.

Last year, McClellan announced that she would not seek a second term so she could run to fill the seat of former Judge Maureen McIntyre. She lost the race for that seat in the March primary election.

As the chief election authority, the county clerk is mandated to provide voter and candidate services, and to administer elections in an unbiased and efficient manner.

Referendums

Voters will have much power to wield during this election.

In McHenry Township, the ballots will include a referendum question asking whether the road district should be abolished. If voters decide to abolish the road district, no changes would take place until the end of McHenry Township Highway Commissioner James Condon’s term in 2020.

In the city of McHenry, residents have two decisions to make: whether the city should build an addition to the McHenry Recreation Center and whether McHenry High School District 156 should make significant changes to the McHenry West and East high school campuses.

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