We're about a week away from a chance for voters to pick future leaders. The primary election is next Tuesday.
While there aren't a lot of races on the ballot, primaries are important, for candidates, and the community.
Rockford's wards 4, 8, an 9 have only one party represented by multiple candidates. That means, turnout could be key.
"I've lived in Rockford my whole life, lived at this address in this ward for 37, I think 37 years. I've seen a lot of alderman come and go," says 4th ward resident Bill Juffenbruck. He say he always votes, in both the primary and general elections.
This election season, he will get to chose between two candidates for alderman, Peter Scordato, and Kevin Frost. Both republicans.
Current alderman Carl Wasco, a democrat, is not running for re-election.
Frost explains, who ever wins the February 26 primary will, as of now, be the only candidate on the April ballot. "Normally in this primary, you don't have a lot of turnout. So in this one it's very important obviously for me but for the residents of the 4th ward because this is their only chance in which they're going to get to pick their alderman. Because in the general election in April, it'll be over by then."
This election is Frost's opponent Peter Scordato's second time running for 4th ward alderman. He's grown up in the ward and Scordato believes his successful small business background emulates his dedication to and skill for serving citizens. He breaks his campaign down into three major areas.
"Current administrators are not addressing problems like high unemployment, high crime and high taxes."
As far as high crime, Scordato thinks Rockford needs more officers on the streets. He wants to make room in the police department's budget for that. As for Rockford taxpayers, he's got a withstanding promise to lower property taxes.
Juffenbruck hopes whoever wins will address the issues he feels are most important to his ward and to Rockford. "Economic particularly, this city needs to get back on it's feet economically. There's high crime rate, we need to be dealing with that," he says.
Marc Zussman, another 4th ward resident, agrees, and adds a few recommendations of his own. "I think a lot of the things that effect the entire city such as job creation is very important, I think it's important that we continue to work on progress in education for Rockford's District 205, which affects all of us, and besides that, we want to make sure of course that our community stays safe," says Zussman.
If you can't make it to the polls on February 26th, you can always vote early. That option began last week and runs till February 23rd.
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