First They Marched. Now They Run.

I’ve been going to the County Fair for as long as I can remember.  I remember going as a little girl and begging Daddy to take me on the big swings that spun around on a tall pole.  Instead we visited the dairy and swine barns, and took a stroll along the midway where old-timers explained how old-time tractors worked.

That’s me with Ladybird.

By the time I was ten, I went to the fair with my best friend  and blue-ribbon Holstein, Lady Bird.

Now, I stroll down the midway visiting a mix of vendors and politicians, quilters and crafted.  Maybe I watch a man coax eagles and bears out of stumps with a chain saw.  Or I might watch the kiddie tractor pull where pre-schoolers drag weights with their peddle-powered tractors. I love the Mother-Daughter look-alike contest, and keep begging CeCe to enter her and Miss K. Miss K is a near clone of CeCe.

This year, if I visit nothing else, I’m going to “First They Marched. Now They Run.”  I’m so impressed with the women collaborating to make our County, our State, and our Nation a better place.

The first Women’s March seems so long ago.  I remember taking my grand-daughter to the March in Chicago.  Some of my grandchildren went with their mother to Washington.  And a year later I boarded a bus with Loved-One and headed to Chicago again.  That’s when I met Kelli Wegener.

Kelli and several other local women are running for office this fall.  They got together and decided to collaborate with a booth at the McHenry County Fair.

[tweetthis]Look for their booth on the midway:  First They March. Now They Run.[/tweetthis]

I got a chance this week to talk to a few of the women. Before I get into that, let me tell you who they are and what office they aspire to:

Lauren Underwood is running for US representative, for Illinois District 14

Mary Mahady is running for Illinois State Senate representing District 32.

Trisha Zubert is running for Illinois Representative for District 64

Kelly Wegener is running to represent District 3 on the McHenry County Board

Nancy Zettler is running for Illinois State Senate representing District 33

Suzanne Ness is running to represent District 2 on the McHenry County Board.

Each of these women can say they are taking the inspiration of the Marches to the next level.  They got involved and just kept going.

Suzanne teaches at Purdue Global, an on-line university.  She’s also a mother and she owns a consulting business.  She was shocked into political engagement by the 2016 Presidential election, according to her mother and campaign manager, Lou Ness.

“We don’t have enough women and we don’t have enough Democrats on the ballots,” Lou told me.  These bright and talented women stepped up to change that.

Suzanne went through every line of the county budget, as well as the strategic plan.  “There are things we can do to save people money and encourage development,” Lou explained.  “And we can provide a healthy community, regardless of the individuals economic situation.” Lou has a passion of her own.  She walked 931.5 miles from Rockford to Washington D.C. in 2014 to highlight the plight of the homeless.

Suzanne says she is running “because I believe we need more people in office who represent everyone, not just special interests or their own interests.  Specifically, we need transportation that meets the needs of lower-income people, housing that is affordable across a diverse spectrum, and an economic development plan the  supports smart growth while maintaining our natural resources.”

Kelli thinks the County board needs to be more diverse in representing the county. One of the things she feels strongly about is the size of the board needs to be reduced and their compensation.  “It’s a part-time job,” Kelli told me.   “Board members get almost free health and dental,” she explained.  “And most have other full-time jobs.  Other county part-time employees do not even have the option of health and dental benefits.  And board members get paid $21000/year.”  Kelli supports solar farms. “The law in Illinois requires that solar farms maintain an amount of vegetation so that the soil will actually be better when and if the solar panels are removed.”

Each of the women have their own Facebook Page and have a website.  To find out more about the McHenry County Fair visit the website:

If you’ve never been to the Fair, it’s at 11900 Country Club Rd, Woodstock, IL 60098.  Here’s a quick peek at the hours:

Kelli Wegener with Lauren Underwood. (Photo provided by Kelli)
Kelli Wegener with Mary Mahady (photo courtesy of Kelli)

I didn’t get a chance to talk to Lauren, Nancy, Mary, and Trisha about their desires for our community.  The McHenry County Fair starts today at noon and runs until Sunday at 8 P.M.

I’ll be there to talk to all of the candidates.  What about you?

Love the Tilt-a-Whirl

I might take another ride on the tilt-whirl. What do you love about the Fair?