By Bob Balgemann


BOONE COUNTY – Owen Costanza has been elected unanimously to a two-year term as chairman of the Republican Party Central Committee in Boone County.

He was chosen April 13 to replace Patrick Murphy, who chose not to seek re-election. Murphy is the Belvidere Township supervisor.

Costanza also serves as the Boone County Republican Club treasurer. He plans to name someone to that position before long.

The committee and club will meet quarterly, on Thursdays, with their gatherings being open to the public.

The central committee chairman is involved in helping precinct committeemen increase GOP voter registration, while working with other counties with the same goal in mind.

Committeemen also serve as registrars, so they can sign up new voters without them having to go to the county building.

There are 38 Republican committeemen, 22 of them in the city of Belvidere with the rest in Flora, Caledonia, Manchester, Spring, Bonus, Boone, Leroy, and Poplar Grove townships.

One of Costanza’s first official actions will be to appoint his Cabinet. He said members likely will be Garrett Anderson, Ric Brereton, Sherry Giesecke, and Curt Newport.

“There is a great deal of interest in bringing new ideas for the party,” he said.

Before long, there will be a Republican nominee for president of the United States. Supporting that candidate will be an important job of the local party as the campaign begins in earnest late in the summer or early fall.

Working on behalf of local candidates is another of the jobs undertaken by GOP volunteers. Currently, only incumbent state Rep. Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford, has opposition, from Candlewick Lake resident Angelique Bodine, a Democrat.

Other state officials representing this area are Incumbent State Sen. Dave Syverson, R-Rockford, and Incumbent State Rep. Bob Pritchard, R-Sycamore. They are unopposed to this point.

Locally, Republican nominee Tricia Smith has no opposition for the office of state’s attorney. She defeated incumbent Michelle Courier in the March 15 primary election. Democrats have until the end of April to slate a candidate for that office and others.

There is one race so far for three seats on the county board. That is in District III where GOP candidates Marion Thornberry, a former board member, and newcomer Carl Larson are going against incumbent Democrat Craig Schultz for two, four-year terms. Schultz is concluding his first term on the board.

Republican candidates in Districts I and II so far have no opposition. They are incumbent Denny Ellingson and former board member Marshall Newhouse in District I, and incumbent Cathy Ward and newcomer, Dr. Bernard O’Malley, in District II.

Longtime board members Bob Walberg, current board chairman out of District I, and Kenny Freeman, District III, chose not to run again.

In addition to his new position with the Republican Party, Costanza is a member of the Poplar Grove Village Board; president of the Capron Rescue Squad District Board of Trustees; member of the Belvidere/Boone County Food Pantry Board of Directors; and a member of the Boone County 9-1-1 Board.

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