ROCKFORD - Three Republican candidates will face off in the primary election for Winnebago County Clerk on March 20.
The contenders are Lori Gummow, of Loves Park, Magdalena "Maggie Schiro" Luke, of Rockford, and Nancy L. Edwardsen, of Machesney Park.
The Republican candidate who receives the most votes will go on to face Democrat contender Paul Gorski in the November general election.
Gummow was the executive director of Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful for nearly 30 years before retiring at the end of 2016. The organization's mission is to improve the environment through education, public awareness and community involvement.
"I was looking for a new opportunity, a new challenge, and I still wanted to stay in the Rockford area and serve the community," Gummow said.
She said her skills in working with the community on a small budget will easily transfer over to the clerk's office.
"What I liked about Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful is it served everybody, and that's also what I like about the clerk position: it serves everybody," Gummow said.
Luke, of Rockford, was born and raised in Winnebago County and previously worked as a clerk in the Recorder of Deeds office for seven-and-a-half years. While in the recorder's office, she obtained a Bachelor's degree in Business Management from Rockford University.
She has been working at Title Underwriters Agency for the past four years. The business specializes in title insurance commitments/policies and closings for residential, commercial and new construction transactions, while also providing zoning searches, oral and written searches, search packages and tax deed searches.
She frequently works with the clerk's office to look at vital records and said her position at the agency has given her a broader understanding of the clerk's position.
"I love customer service and I love helping people," Luke said.
Edwardsen is running on a campaign to take an approximately $15,000 pay cut. She has been studying the clerk position for the last two years and has been active as a citizen advocate, speaking as to the Winnebago County Board 17 times over the last few years.
Tiana McCall was named interim Winnebago County Clerk in January, when Winnebago County Clerk Margie Mullins retired. Mullins served as Winnebago County Clerk for 11 years.