Four Candidates Face Off in Naperville Mayoral Race to Replace Retiring Incumbent

Mayor George Pradel is retiring after serving five terms as mayor of Naperville

West suburban Naperville will soon have a fresh face in the mayor's office after Mayor George Pradel retires from the position he has held for 20 years.

Four candidates are vying for the spot in Tuesday's election: Doug Krause, Marty Walker, James Haselhorst and Steve Chirico.

Doug Krause, 67, is a realtor at RE/MAX of Naperville and a 45-year resident of the city. He has been involved in Naperville politics as a member of the city council since 1989.

Krause also touts his small business experience as the owner of Good Stuff Company in downtown Naperville from 1979 to 1990.

If elected mayor, Krause told the Chicago Tribune, he would focus on synchronizing traffic signals to reduce congestion, improving the lives of seniors, reducing drug and alcohol dependence in the community and creating more affordable housing, suggesting the old public works building on 5th Avenue.

Marty Walker, 62, retired from his job as a firefighter in 2012. He has lived in Naperville for the last seven years, but he served as a firefighter in Carol Stream for 40 years. Since his retirement, Walker has served as a chairperson for Ribfest.

Among the issues Walker would focus on as mayor are enacting renewable energy and green policies, reducing drug and alcohol dependence and decreasing crime at night in the downtown area, according to the Chicago Tribune.

James Haselhorst, 55, who goes by "Jim," is a practice manager at a downtown Naperville dental office and a retired Navy senior chief. Prior to moving to Naperville 20 years ago, Haselhorst worked for the USDA.

Haselhorst has committed to working on providing more support to small businesses to allow the city of Naperville to grow economically, the Chicago Tribune reports. In particular, he would like to develop the south side of Naperville and construct a walkable shopping area and riverwalk.

Steve Chirico, 54, is the founder of a downtown Naperville specialty flooring business called Great Western Flooring. He is a lifelong resident of Naperville and has served in the city council since 2011.

In addition to his flooring business, Chirico has past experience at 360 Youth and Family Services and Naperville Responds For Our Veterans, which he co-founded.

If elected mayor, Chirico said he would support economic development, find uses for vacant buildings, bring fiscal responsibility to the city, promote environmental stewardship and reduce problems associated with drugs and alcohol in the community, in part by getting parents to talk openly about it, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The well-liked Mayor Pradel, who is 77 years old, is retiring after serving five terms in office. He told the Naperville Sun he does not want to endorse one candidate to replace him over another because they are all his friends.

All nine seats on the city council are up for grabs on Tuesday as well. There are 20 candidates on the ballot to fill the remaining eight seats.

The candidates for city council member are Kevin Coyne, Joe McElroy, Richard "Dick" Furstenau, Bill Eagan, Wayne Floegel, James "Jimmy" Bergeron, Robert Hajek, John Krummen, Paul Hinterlong, Nancy J. Marinello, David G. Wentz, Patricia "Patty" Gustin, Judith Brodhead, Thomas O'Hale, John J. Colletti, Stephen M. Purduski, Rebecca Boyd-Obarski, Steve Peterson, Becky Anderson and Kevin Gallaher.

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