City Council Candidates Already Campaigning
City Council candidates like Carolyn Cerf and Kim Stone have already kicked off their campaigns. They are running against Dan Kaufman, Alyssa Knobel, Bob Crimo and William Dytrych.
On Nov. 29, the six candidates for Highland Park's City Council filed their petitions and found out where their names would appear on the April ballot.
Three days later, Kim Stone was meeting voters at her campaign kick off event at a Highland Park home.
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"It went really, really well," Stone said of her event, which drew more than 70 people, including Anne Flanigan Bassi, who has represented Highland Park on the Lake County Board for 10 years. "I was just really proud of the turnout."
Cerf, who ran unsuccessfully for city council in the last election, has a kick-off event planned for next Tuesday evening at Norton's.
"I plan to reach out to every voter," Cerf said in a brief conversation on Thursday.
A Highland Park native, Cerf is a member of the Rotary Club, the Highland Park Historical Society and the Community Emergency Response Team.
"This city is my life," Cerf said in a press release announcing her candidacy.
Pete Koukos, a former City Councilman endorsed Cerf's candidacy in a statement.
"She’s got what it takes, and now we’ve got to empower her to do even more," he said.
The other candidates do not appear to be in the same rush to begin campaigning. Knobel, who announced her candidacy earlier this year, said she would wait to plan anything until after the holiday season.
"The election cycle is very long," Knobel said. "I'm not doing anything till after the new year."
The Business & Economic Development Commission (BEDC) chair and 14-year Highland Park resident has already racked up quite a few endorsements. Knobel has been endorsed by Mayor Nancy Rotering as well as City Councilmen Tony Blumberg, David Naftzger, Paul Frank and Steve Mandel.
"Alyssa is a dear friend and she's also somebody who gets involved up to her eyeballs in the community," Rotering said in April.
Councilmen Blumberg and Mandel were both also at Stone's campaign event last Sunday, according to Stone, who currently serves on the transportation commission, the Parks Advisory Committee of the Park District of Highland Park and the North Shore School District 112 Field Management Committee.
Mandel, who recently was elected to Lake County Board, told Patch earlier this year that he supports Stone's candidacy. A councilman who has been heavily involved in the city's mission for environmental sustainability, he told Patch he is excited that someone is running for the city council that shares his passion for environmental issues.
"I had some concerns about who would take my advocacy role," Mandel said, "but I am convinced [Stone] has the ability to deal with all these other issues as a city council person."
Kaufman, who has been serving as a City Councilman since he was appointed last June, got an early start to his campaigning, when he and a group of supporters walked together during Highland Park's Fourth of July parade. More recently, Kaufman held a "petition party" at his home with more than 30 volunteers.
Mayor Rotering has voiced her support for his effort to retain his seat as well, in addition to the rest of the current City Council.
"Dan has been a tremendous asset to the Council," Rotering said in a statement. "We value his guidance, commitment and leadership as we continue to move Highland Park forward."
Editor's note: Call to Bob Crimo and William Dytrych were unreturned before publication.