SAUK VILLAGE | The lone village trustee who usually votes along with Village President Lewis Towers said Friday that he will challenge Towers and Derrick Burgess for the top post in municipal government in the 2013 municipal election.
Enoch Benson IV said he will run in the April 9 election on the Citizens for Reform slate. His plan is to put the focus back on residents, whom he says are suffering from the current infighting that prevents Towers and the Village Board from accomplishing anything.
“I know that a successful village government must be founded on four things; good governance, knowledge, extensions and resources,” Benson said, in a prepared statement. “I believe that my life’s experiences, abilities, skills, knowledge and understanding of Sauk Village’s unique issues qualify me as the best candidate.”
Benson will run on a slate with three allied trustee candidates: the Rev. Eddie Kimble, Carla Phillips and the Rev. Corey Lewis, as well as village clerk candidate Shirlene McCreary.
A current village board member, Benson is the only trustee who seems sympathetic to Towers, and often his is the lone vote in favor of the village president's proposals.
Towers on Friday said he was not surprised to learn that Benson plans to challenge him.
“He’s decided to go off on his own, which is his right in a democratic society,” Towers told The Times.
Towers said he does not think Benson will siphon significant levels of voter support away from his re-election campaign. He said he's meeting Saturday with the members of his own slate of candidates.
“We will have a full slate of our own,” Towers said, although he refused to identify who those candidates will be. “We’ll make an announcement in the next few days.”
Burgess, the third candidate for village president, had little to say about Benson’s entrance.
“Good luck to him,” Burgess said. “I think his record (of support for Towers) speaks for itself.”
Benson's entry into the race means the election won't be a rematch of the 2009 municipal election, when Towers defeated Burgess by a 831-510 vote.