Student elected county board representative

Sophomore Brandon Behlke, of Galena, Ill., was elected to the Jo Daviess County Board representing District II.

In order to be elected, candidates had to receive a petition from the Jo Daviess County Clerks Office and return the petition with 25 signatures.  Candidates must be registered voters and at least 18 years of age. 19-year-old Behlke ran uncontested as a member of the Republican Party.

Behlke said he wants to lower taxes for Galena and ultimately make the community more business-friendly.

“Galena is surrounded by Dubuque and Freeport, so making Galena more business-friendly is a major goal,” Behlke said.

Behlke started his involvement in local politics three years ago when an advertisement in the Galena Gazette asked for volunteers to be part of a new project called Vision 2020.  Behlke was one of the 15 people chosen to serve on the committee.  Vision 2020 chooses five goals the members want to take effect in Galena by 2020.

“Vision 2020 allowed me to work with other leaders and helped me find mentors that I could look up to,” said Behlke.

“I worked with former Democratic Congressman John Cox on Build a Smarter Future campaign,” Behlke said.  “It would give Galena a new school.  The campaign to build the new school was unsuccessful, but we are going to continue with the campaign and try again.”

Behlke is involved with College Republicans and Young Americans for Freedom at University of Wisconsin-Platteville, along with serving as precinct committeeman for West Galena representing the Jo Daviess County Republican Party.

With a social science major and history emphasis, Behlke wants to teach in the area once he graduates.

“I do want to continue with the local board and local politics,” Behlke said.  “I want to make a difference and take it as it is.”