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DeKalb County Board District 2 candidates offer different experiences

Published: Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012 5:30 a.m. CDT

GENOA – In an age of heavy political campaigning, Russell “Russ” Deverell does not even knock on doors.

The Kingston Republican said he relies on the reputation he has built from serving 12 years on the local school board, running his Breakfast Acres farm and working for residents the past two years on the DeKalb County Board.

Deverell hopes to be elected again in District 2 as he faces fellow incumbent John Emerson, R-Genoa, and challenger James Hanson, a Genoa Democrat, for one of two board seats.

District 2 includes Genoa and Kingston, expanding north from Base Line Road to Poplar Road and west from East County Line Road to Ault Road. It is one of only four districts with more than 9,000 people.

After two years on the board, Deverell said he is “just scratching the surface” of learning how to best contribute and hopes his low-key approach to campaigning will get him another term.

“If I get on, I’m willing to serve. If I don’t, I don’t,” he said. “I’m not going to advertise. I’ve been living here all my life and feel a good percentage of people know what I’m about.”

While Deverell and Emerson both bring farming backgrounds to the board, their Democratic challenger brings experience in aeronautical and astronautical engineering.

Hanson, a Genoa resident of 23 years, said he decided to run to get more involved in his community and to bring his perspective as a focus factory manager to the board. Hanson said he has traveled the country fixing management problems in factories and finding ways to do more with less.

“I run operations, that’s what I do,” Hanson said. “I walk into places always being challenged to do more with less, and I want to bring that level of expertise to the county.”

John Emerson, who started with the board in 2010, has served on the planning and zoning committee and health and human services committee.

Emerson said his top priorities were to continue helping senior citizens with his work on the health and human services committee and preserve and maintain agricultural land with his work on the planning and zoning committee.

Like his fellow incumbent Deverell, Emerson had previously served on the local school board and said he continues to enjoy civic service.

“I really enjoy the work I do on the county board,” Emerson said of his committee service. “I feel like I can really help with those issues.”

James Hanson
DemocratAge: 48Town: GenoaEducation: Bachelor's degree, aeronautical and astronautical engineering, Univerisity of Illinois; master's degree, MBA, Northern Illinois UniversityCareer: Focus factory manager, Knaack LLC.Marital status: Married, wife Debbie

Russell Deverell
RepublicanAge: 59Town: KingstonEducation: Bachelor's degree, agricultural economics, University of IllinoisCareer: FarmerMarital status: Married, wife Karen

John Emerson
RepublicanTown: GenoaEducation: Bachelor's degree, agriculture, Illinois State UniversityCareer: FarmerMarital status: Married, wife JudyChildren: Daniel, Patrick

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