The Oswego firefighter running against long-time Ken Toftoy has received enough signatures a week before the deadline to file his nominating petition as an independent.
Mike Dabney, of Oswego, had 2,049 signatures Monday morning, while his campaign workers estimated he needed between 1,518 and 2,428 , according to a news release Dabney issued Monday evening.
The number of signatures on his nominating petition needs to be equal to at least 5 percent of the people who voted in the last general election, Dabney said.
“The 2,049 number puts me comfortably above the minimum needed,” Dabney said in the news release. “I am very grateful to everyone who signed my petitions to give me a chance to be on the ballot in November. People have been very receptive to the idea of having a coroner who will work full-time for the salary being paid, and who promises to bring professionalism to the office.”
Dabney, who unsuccessfully ran against Toftoy in the 2008 Republican primary, to run as an independent last month. Toftoy, who also is chairman of the Kendall County Republican Central Committee, has served as coroner since 1992, according to his profile on the county’s website.
Dabney said area residents have been "very positive" as he walked door-to-door.
“I’m looking forward to debating my opponent, and giving everyone in Kendall County a choice in November," he said.
Dabney served as a deputy coroner from 2002 to 2008. He also worked for the Aurora Police Department for 27 years, the last 13 as a crime scene investigator.
He presently is a full-time firefighter/paramedic/investigator for the Oswego Fire Protection District, a crime scene instructor for the Suburban Law Enforcement Academy at the College of DuPage, and an instructor for a fire investigator module at the College of DuPage.
If elected, Dabney has said he would quit his job at the fire protection district to focus on the coroner's office full-time.
Meanwhile, Toftoy has said the coroner's office was a part-time position run out of a funeral home operated by the elected coroner before Toftoy was elected 20 years ago. He created the physical office space and saved the county $50,000 in 1996 by having a hospital donate equipment for the morgue, he said.
He also makes anti-drunk-driving presentations to high-schoolers, visits forensic classes and gives tours of the morgue to criminal justice students. Toftoy said Dabney didn't handle many calls as a deputy coroner, but Toftoy has remained available to respond to situations around the clock.