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Ballot order for Republican sheriff candidates chosen

MORRIS – For the March 18 Republican sheriff’s race, Ken Briley will be first on the primary ballot above his opponent Ron Marx.

Both candidates filed to run for the Republican Party’s nomination for the Grundy County Sheriff’s Office first thing on the first day petitions could be filed, which was Nov. 25. Therefore, a lotto was held Wednesday to determine whose name would be first on the ballot.

Briley, of Minooka, won the drawing, with the winning name pulled by Grundy County Clerk Lana Phillips.

Incumbent Sheriff Kevin Callahan was the only person to file as a Democrat for the office and will run against either Briley or Marx in November’s general election. Callahan was appointed after the late Sheriff Terry Marketti’s death, which will be one year ago Friday.

The candidates shook hands and were congratulated by Phillips after the drawing.

“Congratulations. I really don’t think the ballot position really matters. If they want you, they will find you,” she told them.

After the drawing, Marx, of Morris, said he thinks every candidate hopes for the top position on the ballot. He plans to return to campaigning after the holidays.

“After the first of the year, [I will] go back and hit the ground running,” Marx said.

Marx ran against Marketti in 2010 and lost by less than 900 votes. Marx is lieutenant and director of training for the Morris Fire Protection and Ambulance District. He is retired from the Naperville Fire Department and is a past Morris police officer.

Briley said since he was not born and raised in Grundy County, he started campaigning early and wants to continue to make his way around the county to make himself known.

“It was a fair drawing,” Briley said. “I think being first on the ballot may get me a few extra votes, but as the clerk says, the ball is in our court now.”

Briley is the director of the Minooka Emergency Management Agency, as well as a full-time officer for Minooka police. He previously served as the warden of Stateville Correctional Center and continues to serve as a part-time officer for the Morris and Coal City police departments.

Petitions for the primary election had to be filed by Dec. 2. Independent and new political party candidates can pick up petition packets beginning March 25 for the general election.

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