SAUK VILLAGE | When David Hanks was named acting village president earlier this year, he said he only would serve to finish the term of Lewis Towers and then return to his village trustee post following the April 9 elections.
Yet when the nominating petition filing deadline for those elections passed Wednesday night, Hanks’ name was among the four candidates seeking to run for a four-year term that begins May 1 for village president.
Village Trustees Enoch Benson IV and Derrick Burgess had previously announced their campaigns. They will be joined in running for the top post by Bernice Brewer-Houston, who is heading a slate of candidates calling itself Citizens for Empowerment. It consists of candidates who are aligned ideologically with Towers.
Hanks is not running as part of any slate of candidates. He will be a political independent.
He said his job as a quality engineer for Lincolnshire-based ACCO Brands will prevent him from having time to actively campaign for the post.
Hanks said Thursday he was sincere when he originally said he would not run for village president.
But he said residents began asking him in early December why he wasn’t running for the top post. He said those people did the work of putting together nominating petitions for him to run for village president.
“They won’t accept ‘no’ for an answer,” Hanks said, adding that he realizes Burgess will be upset with him because Burgess’ Peoples’ Unity Party slate was counting on having support from Hanks and his political backers come election day.
“We’ve had a few words; he’s not too happy with me,” Hanks said.
Burgess said that Hanks’ change of stance ought to be reason enough not to vote for him April 9.
“This shows his integrity, he threw it all away for an election,” said Burgess, who also questioned Hanks’ government experience even though he is the senior-most village trustee, having held the post since 1999.
“He’s chaired a committee and some things came to Sauk Village, but they are things that would have come here regardless,” Burgess said of Hanks, while adding of the five weeks that Hanks has been acting village president, “What has he really accomplished?”
But Burgess said he’s not counting anybody out in this election.
“Everybody who filed a petition has something attractive about them,” Burgess said. “I’m not taking anybody for cheap.”
Among other petitions filed during the past week, Village Clerk Debbie Williams and Trustee Rosie Williams both are seeking re-election as political independents apart from any candidate slate.