Ed Bradley (Ed Bradley, Handout / December 4, 2013)

Two Republicans and three Democrats have thrown their hat in the ring to run for Will County sheriff next year.

Candidate filing for the March 18 primary ended Monday for various Will County posts including sheriff and County Board.

Will County Sheriff Paul Kaupas is not seeking re-election, making the sheriff's race the most contested in the county.

For the Republicans, Kaupas' cousin Ken Kaupas, who is deputy chief of special operations, is vying against Nick Ficarello, who retired as a deputy chief from the sheriff's office in 2009.

Ken Kaupas, who also worked for the Illinois state police before joining the sheriff's office three years ago, said identifying future leaders to replace retiring deputies is a top goal along with looking for ways to streamline services to help keep expenses down.

Ficarello said he hopes to develop a county-wide communication system that would allow the closest officer — regardless of agency — to respond to an emergency call. He also proposes to develop a special victims unit to handle domestic violence cases, crimes involving children, sex crimes and crimes against the elderly.

The three Democrats running for the office are Ed Bradley, University Park chief of police and a 21-year veteran of the sheriff's office; Steve Egan, a sheriff's lieutenant; and Mike Kelley, a sergeant with the sheriff's office.

Egan said he hopes to get more sworn officers out on the street by reassigning office jobs to civilians.

Pointing to recent lawsuits over fumbled investigations, such as the Kevin Fox case, Bradley said he would examine how investigations are handled to see what changes are needed.

Kelley, who is also a Lockport Township trustee, could not be reached for comment, but in the past he has identified putting more patrols on the street and combating the county's heroin problem as top issues.

Also on the ballot this spring are Will County Board seats.

Cory Singer, who served on the County Board, but lost a bid for county executive in 2012, is seeking one of two spots on the Republican ballot to represent County Board District 2, which includes parts of Frankfort and Mokena. He will be running against incumbents David Izzo and Jim Moustis.

In District 11, which includes Naperville, Republican incumbents Suzanne Hart and Chuck Maher are being challenged by Michael Strick.

In District 9, which includes parts of Joliet, Democrat incumbents Walter Adamic and Diane Zigrossi face a challenge from newcomer Lauren Staley-Ferry.

Though referendum requests do not need to be filed until Jan. 15, some local governments already have filed their questions for the March ballot.

In Plainfield Park District, voters will be asked to determine if the district should issue a permit to use its dog parks, if park board members should be limited to serving two six-year terms and if the Park District should investigate the purchase or construction of an indoor recreation facility.

In Homer Township, the fire protection district is asking to issue $4.7 million in bonds, while the Steger-South Chicago Heights Public Library District and the New Lenox Community Park District are asking to increase taxes.