Seven candidates challenge Township Improvement Party incumbents
Townships are an often-forgotten layer of government in the suburbs of Cook County, receiving little attention from either candidates or voters.
Elections are held every four years, and the eight incumbents are usually re-elected without opposition.
Rare is it to have a year of competition on the ballot for the township. 2021 will be one of those years.
A new slate, Law & Order, will be contesting all elected offices for Norwood Park Township except assessor. They are:
- Anthony Beckman – Township Supervisor. Beckman is an 18-year veteran of the Norridge Police Department and was previously the Republican candidate for Illinois’ 10th state Senate district. Beckman is a Harwood Heights resident.
- Michael Lupo – Highway Commissioner. Lupo is a small business owner and a resident of Park Ridge.
- George Ballis – Clerk. Ballis is a 30 year veteran of risk management and assessment. He is currently a member of the District 80 finance committee. A Norridge resident, he is the publisher of NorridgeSpotlight.com.
- Gus Rapatas – Trustee. Rapatas is a master automotive mechanic and in business management and commercial property management. He is a Norridge resident and was briefly a candidate in 2019 for Norridge Village trustee.
- Paul Malicki – Trustee. Malicki is a US Marine veteran and a 28-year veteran of the Norridge Police Department. A Norridge resident, Malicki was previously a candidate in 2019 for the Norwood Park fireboard.
- Mandy Lushniak and Kevin Hanley are both Trustee candidates from Park Ridge.
The Law & Order (L&O) slate is being backed by the Northwest Side GOP Club (NWSGOP), a Republican organization supporting area conservatives.
NWSGOP previously supported Beckman, as well as Illinois Statehouse district 19 candidate Jeff Muehlfelder, in 2020.
Law & Order will face off against the incumbents of the Township Improvement Party (TIP).
The TIP is closely linked to the Norridge Improvement Party (NIP).
Both “Improvement” entities are supported by the Chicago 38th Ward Democratic Organization, a vehicle of Illinois Democratic Party Chairman Mike Madigan, and IL State senator Robert Martwick.
The party changes its name every election in order to avoid having to compete in a primary election, as the NIP has had to deal with in 2021. A previous party name was Township Unity Party. The current TIP slate is:
- Tom Lupo – Township Supervisor. Lupo is a long-time incumbent and close ally of Martwick. Lupo is a Norridge resident and not related to Michael Lupo.
- Larry Rogawski – Highway Commissioner. Rogawski is a long-term incumbent and a Norridge resident.
- Frances Salinsky – Clerk. Salinsky was first elected to Clerk in 2017 following the death of long-time Clerk Rocco Secco. Salinsky was previously the elected Collector, a position now eliminated. Salinsky is a Harwood Heights resident.
- Dennis Karns – Township Assessor. The position of township assessor is the only elected position with strict qualification requirements. A Norridge resident, Karns is the only incumbent running without opposition.
- Paul Alongi – Trustee. A former Village of Norridge public works laborer, Alongi inherited the $66,000-annual “Buildings and Grounds Supervisor” Norridge patronage job from Mike Fanelli in 2019. He is a Norridge resident.
- Anthony Nasca, Steve Wyda, and Dennis Stefanowicz Jr round out the TIP ticket as trustees from Norridge, Harwood Heights, and Park Ridge, respectively. Nasca is a former treasurer for Martwick’s political action committee.
All areas of Norridge except west of Cumberland, and all of Harwood Heights, are within Norwood Park Township (NPT); the west part of Norridge is Leyden Township.
There are unincorporated areas of NPT north of Norridge and Harwood Heights. Portions of Park Ridge north of Higgins Road are in NPT.
There will be no primary election for either of these slates.
Both L&O and TIP will appear on the April 6 consolidated election ballot.
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