Two former presidents of the Evanston/Skokie School District 65 Board are among the candidates hoping to fill an expected vacancy for the Illinois legislature next year.

Candance Chow, immediate past president of the board, announced Tuesday she will be joining former board president Mary Rita Luecke in seeking the 17th District House seat being vacated by Laura Fine, who plans to run for the Senate seat now held by gubernatorial candidate Daniel Biss.

Both Chow, a consultant, and Luecke, a lawyer, have cited their experience on the school board among their qualifications for representing Evanston in Springfield.

In a news release announcing her candidacy, Chow, who just won reelection for a second four-year term on the school board, claimed partial credit for the successful tax referendum that gained approval from 80 percent of the electorate in last April’s election while she was board president.

Luecke, who served on the board from 2001 to 2009, noted in her profile on Linked-In that, in addition to serving three years as board president, she also served on the Policy Committee that completely revised the policy manual for the district.

Chow denies that she is a career politician. “I am a working mom and a progressive Democrat,” she says, “who believes strongly that we all have an important role to play in supporting those who need it the most.”

An MBA “with distinction” from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management in strategy and nonprofit management, Chow graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in public communications and international studies from American University in Washington.

Both she and Luecke served on the Finance Committee of the school board at different times, and Chow is chair of the committee at present. Chow also sits on the board of Community Partners for Affordable Housing.

While both School District 65 and State District 15 represent portions of Evanston and Skokie, Chow lives in Evanston, while Luecke lives in Skokie.

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Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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