by Elena Ferrarin, Daily Herald
Palatine Township Supervisor Sharon Langlotz-Johnson said she was kept off the Republican slate for the April 6 election by Township Highway Commissioner Aaron Del Mar, who is also a Republican committeeman.
Langlotz-Johnson, a Republican, said she would have wanted to run for township trustee in April. She always planned to serve only two terms as supervisor and then let someone else take over, she said.
Del Mar, who is running for reelection on the Republican slate, denied exerting any undue influence on the caucus. "I am not a dictator and I don't get to decide who runs for anything," he said.
The Palatine Township Republicans held their caucus earlier this month with 116 in-person attendees. Caucuses are exempt from COVID-19 gathering restrictions with social distancing and masking protocols.
Langlotz-Johnson and Del Mar have sparred over the years.
Langlotz-Johnson said Del Mar acts unilaterally as highway commissioner, that his position comes with too much authority and that their clashes have become personal for him. "He and I were very close friends for a long time," she said. "It's been disappointing these last few years."
Del Mar also has too much influence in his dual role as committeeman, she said.
Del Mar declined to address any strife with Langlotz-Johnson. "She's one of the most kind and generous people that I know," he said, thanking her for her years of service.
Langlotz-Johnson served one term as township trustee before being elected supervisor in 2013, which Del Mar called "enough."
"I hold the position that any elected official who serves for a long period of time loses the focus and the perspective of those positions," he said, adding, "These positions weren't designed as careers."
However, the Republican slate also includes Township Clerk Lisa Moran, who's running for her fourth term as clerk after serving four years as trustee, and Assessor Terry Kelly, who is running for his fifth term as assessor after serving 12 years as trustee.
Also on the slate is supervisor candidate Andy-John G. Kalkounos, currently a trustee, and four candidates for trustee: incumbent Bill Pohlman; Christine Svenson, who is on the board of the nonprofit Journeys -- the Road Home; Leslie Bolanos, who serves on the board of the Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 Chiefs Hockey Club; and Michael Smolka, who serves on the board of Palatine Community Baseball and Softball.
According to Del Mar, the slate's combination of experience and diversity is a plus.
He has followed his own philosophy, he said, when serving one term as Palatine councilman and declaring that his upcoming run for highway commissioner would be his last after being appointed in 2016.
The Palatine Township Democrats also held their caucus earlier this month with 36 attendees, some in person, some virtually.
The Democratic slate includes Melissa Ortega for township supervisor, Matt Flamm for highway commissioner and Tracy Boland for township clerk. The Democratic trustee candidates are Thakar S. Basati, Megan Gawlik, Nathaniel Groh and Deanna Santman. The slate has no candidate for assessor.
Del Mar pointed out Langlotz-Johnson could have run for trustee as an independent.
Langlotz-Johnson said she decided against that, because she's always run as a Republican and running as an independent is an uphill battle.
Monday is the last day to file for the April 6 election.