Rukisha Crawford and Savannah Ilenikhena

(L to R) DeKalb Co. Circuit Clerk candidates Rukisha Crawford and Savannah Ilenikhena.

Like Kendall County, our sister station WLBK reports that the race to become DeKalb County’s next circuit clerk will be contested next year.

Democratic DeKalb County Board member Rukisha Crawford on Monday became the second candidate to announce a run for circuit clerk.

Crawford became the first African American woman to become a member of the DeKalb County Board when she was elected last year. Crawford, who has lived in DeKalb for more than 20 years, has been a substitute in the DeKalb School District and has a bachelor’s and two master’s degrees from NIU.

Crawford says her goal is to build strong relationships in the community and “continue the DeKalb County tradition of offering great government service.”

Democratic DeKalb County Board Chair Mark Pietrowski is backing Crawford, saying he encouraged her to run and has “been impressed with the way she has dove into being a board member.”

Crawford joins Republican Savannah Ilenikhena in the circuit clerk’s race.

Ilenikhena works in the DeKalb County Court Services office and announced her candidacy earlier. Prior to her current position, Ilenikhena worked with the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office and groups like Safe Passage and Focus House. She holds a bachelor's degree from NIU and a master’s degree from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

So far, only one candidate from each party has announced a run for circuit clerk. The primaries are in March.

The winner of the general election would replace longtime circuit clerk Maureen Josh who announced earlier this year that she would not seek re-election after nearly 35 years in office.