Republican voters voted Tuesday to cast their ballots in the GOP primary for chairman of the DuPage County board in DuPage County and chose Greg Hart of Hinsdale by a wide margin.
Longtime chairman Dan Cronin, R-Elmhurst, decided not to run again and step down in December, facing an open race for president to GOP voters. There were two current board members to replace Cronin, Pete Disiani of Hart of Hinsdale and Elmhurst, both giving up their seats to run for chairman.
According to unofficial results, Hart was leading DiCianni from 60% to 40%, with 95% reporting complications. Hart announced the victory Tuesday night.
Hart will contest November’s general election against Democrat Deb Conroy, who ran unopposed in his party’s primary on Tuesday.
A former mayor of Elmhurst and a small business owner, Disiani has been on the county board for the past 10 years. In his campaign, he pointed to a record of bipartisanship, including working with Democrats in Springfield and taking periodic targets at Cronin, and he cited his votes against budget and head count cuts at the county sheriff’s office. , as well as in their efforts. Helping write eight state laws related to health care and specifically for individuals with special needs, including autism.
Hart, who co-owns a management consulting firm, was appointed to the board in 2017 by Cronin, and won election to a full term the following year. A DuPage native, Hart said during his campaign that public safety is the top issue the board faces, followed by balancing the budget and attacking the opioid crisis.
Hart was supported by Cronin by the previous three county board presidents and several municipal officials, while Disiani was supported by several DuPage mayors and officials.
Hart has deferred his vote to add five full-time employees to the state attorney’s office to help handle the growing criminal case load, and he has consulted the DuPage County Health Department’s Heroin/Opioid Prevention and Education Task Force. He has pointed to his work under the chairmanship of
DiCianni cites his experience as Elmhurst mayor and his decade on the county board.
“It’s not an entry-level position. It’s a country of one million people, which makes it bigger than seven states.” “I like Greg, but it’s important to have someone with experience and a steady hand.”
Hart called himself the most bipartisan Republican on the county board, and pointed to the bipartisan solutions he helped formulate on the board, including by moving the Department of Psychiatric Services from county administration to county health department. That includes saving the county $1 million per year. Thus allowing for more federal funding.
Bob Goldsborough is a freelance journalist.