With campaign over, Kifowit must move into new district
By Stephanie Lulay firstname.lastname@example.org November 8, 2012 7:04PM
Democratic candidate for the 84th district of illinois Stephanie Kifowit early poll results at O'Malleys Bar & Grill in Aurora, IL on Tuesday, November 06, 2012 | Sean King~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 8, 2012 9:01PM
AURORA — Tuesday’s general election made it official — State Rep.-elect Stephanie Kifowit is going to be house hunting.
Two days after her victory over opponent Republican Pat Fee in the new Illinois 84th House District, Kifowit said she hasn’t given much thought to where she’ll move yet.
The Aurora alderman said up until now her priority was to get elected first, she said from her home in the 3rd Ward, which is not in the new House district.
“To be honest, I’m just catching up with the world and will think of (moving) later,” Kifowit said Thursday. “All of that stuff needs to be worked out.”
Because of state legislative redistricting, Kifowit, a resident of the near East Side, was able to run for the new 84th Illinois House district even though she lived in the 83rd District. But getting elected means that Kifowit now has six months to move into the 84th, according to state statute, she said.
In the meantime, she’ll be looking at homes with her family, she said. And she isn’t sure that she will stay in Aurora.
The 84th District — previously part of Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia’s 83rd and Rep. Darlene Senger’s 96th districts — includes part of Aurora’s East Side and most of the far East Side. The new district also has portions of Naperville, Montgomery, Boulder Hill and Oswego.
“We haven’t even looked (at houses),” Kifowit said.
Three school districts are within the district’s boundaries — East Aurora, Oswego and Indian Prairie. Kifowit’s two children currently attend East Aurora schools.
“(District) 131 is in the (state house) district,” Kifowit said. “Now that we’ve won, these are things we’ve got to discuss now as a family.”
Kifowit said during her months on the campaign trail in the new 84th, she did not receive questions from future constituents about her home outside the district.
For now, she’ll first focus on breaking down her campaign office and picking up Kifowit campaign signs. She said her campaign staffers teased that she can finally sleep in, now that she’s been relieved of her door-knocking duties.
“I laughed because I wasn’t sleeping in,” Kifowit said after the election. “No, I was up with the kids the first day at 6 (a.m.) My world keeps going.”
Kifowit’s step up to the Illinois House means someone new will be seated to the Aurora City Council in her 3rd Ward spot.
Kifowit will start her new state representative position in January. She is now in her third term as alderman and was re-elected in April 2011.
According to city code, in the event of a council vacancy, the term should be filled in the next general election for aldermen for the unexpired portion of the term.
The mayor may appoint a person to serve as alderman in the vacancy until the next election, and the City Council must approve the appointment.
Leroy Keith, former 9th Ward alderman, was the last alderman to leave the council before his term had expired. In December 2010, Keith announced his resignation because he was moving out of the area.
According to Aurora Election Commission Director Linda Fechner, in that scenario, Keith did not resign in time to trigger an election for the rest of his term. If a seat is vacated 130 days or more before an upcoming election, voters would chose the replacement, she said.
Mayor Tom Weisner then appointed current Alderman Allan Lewandowski to Keith’s 9th Ward seat.