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Chris Lauzen to run for Kane County Board chair

State Sen. Chris Lauzen addresses supporters Aug. 13 Vaughan Athletic Center Aurorannounce thhe will run for Kane County Board chairman.

State Sen. Chris Lauzen addresses supporters Aug. 13 at the Vaughan Athletic Center in Aurora to announce that he will run for Kane County Board chairman. | Jeff Cagle~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: October 3, 2011 11:43AM

State Sen. Chris Lauzen announced Saturday that he will be leaving the Senate at the end of his term, and will run for Kane County Board Chairman in the 2012 general election.

Lauzen is the second politician to declare his candidacy for the position. On Tuesday, Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns became the first to announce his run for board chairman.

Current County Board Chairman Karen McConnaughay has announced she will run for the state Senate in the 33rd District.

More than 800 people turned up at Lauzen’s annual Porky’s Picnic barbecue fund-raiser on Saturday evening to hear the anticipated announcement. Lauzen, an Aurora Republican, represents the 25th Senate District, but supporters from across the state were on hand to offer their good wishes.

They dined on pork chops, applesauce and ears of sweet corn as they awaited the news — but the event didn’t exactly go off without a hitch. Rain put the kibosh on the Lauzen team’s original plans of holding the event at Blackberry Farm in Aurora. Instead, hundreds of people relocated to the Vaughan Athletic Center on Indian Trail where the smell of barbecue and popcorn filled the packed fieldhouse.

“The location decision (we faced) is a perfect analogy to the storms facing the state,” Lauzen said as he stood on stage surrounded by his wife and children. “We had to move the whole picnic in 24 hours. We said we are going to do our work for Saturday’s picnic without fear. If you can work without fear, you will be so much more productive.”

Once the decision was made to move the picnic, volunteers worked around the clock to implement the changes. Lauzen said that the same momentum must be kept on the political front.

“It’s important for all of us to work without fear,” he said.

After nearly 20 years serving in the Illinois Senate, Lauzen said he hopes to bring his enthusiasm and drive to the Kane County Board.

“I am deeply grateful for all of the support you have given me and my family and the causes we share,” he told supporters. “You know that this is no time to quit politics. I ask for your continued support as I announce my candidacy for Kane County chairman.”

In the audience, local politicians and other elected officials cheered wildly.

Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon, State Treasurer Dan Rutherford, Congressman Joe Walsh, local school board members, county board members and future Congressional hopefuls turned out to offer their support. Republican Congressman Randy Hultgren, who represents the 14th district, and his family were also in attendance.

“We are fighting for this county’s soul, and it’s going on in Springfield and in Washington,” Walsh said during a brief speech. “There is no better example of that in this state then Sen. Chris Lauzen.”

If elected, Lauzen promised supporters to keep three of his constant campaign promises; to work hard, to stay honest, and to use common sense.

“Our fundamental shared principles remain the same: Faith as service to others, family, and freedom to prosper,” he said.

He announced that as County Board chairman his priorities and promises will include freezing property taxes, treating every person with respect, and ensuring honest, competent administration of county business.

As an innovator, Lauzen said he will look for outside revenue to support the county, rather than putting increased financial tax burdens on residents.

“We go confidently into the storm of the campaign,” he said. “We deserve so much better than what the government has been providing.”

Throughout the fieldhouse, supporters wore Chris Lauzen T-shirts and buttons. Children hopped wildly around bouncy castles and noshed on freshly made cotton candy.

Other people browsed a silent auction, where prizes included a trip to Wisconsin Dells, laser tag and pizza at Luigi’s Fun Center, and Tinseltown movie tickets.

A signed photograph of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, however, was the most doted-over prize up for grabs.

Instead of putting a price on the picture, participants had a field day adding comments instead of bids.

“You pay me,” a woman wrote.

“Ditto,” the next poster replied.

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