PHOTO STORY: 'He's Looking Down and Smiling' — Maria Vazquez Fills Term of Her Late Husband, Jesse

PHOTO STORY: ‘He’s Looking Down and Smiling’ — Maria Vazquez Fills Term of Her Late Husband, Jesse

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In an emotional moment at Tuesday’s Kane County Board meeting, 23 board members unanimously endorsed the appointment of Maria Vazquez to fill the District 8 vacancy created by the passing of her husband.

Jesse Vazquez  —  a former Marine, Montgomery businessman, County Board member and community activist — died unexpectedly on Jan. 12 at the age of 51.

“This is a great decision. It’s why Kane County always leads the way,” District 16 board member and Forest Preserve Board Chairman Mike Kenyon said. “Right now, there’s a marine standing at attention looking down, and he’s very happy.”

District 2 board member Theresa Barreiro, a longtime friend of the Vazquez family, was among the board members who recommended that Maria fill the 18-month balance of Jesse’s term.

“He is here today,” she said. “When Maria approached me about this, I thought, ‘Yes, this is perfect.’ Maria has worked with Jesse on all his campaigns — in fact, that’s when I met Maria and Jesse. This is a good day, and I want to thank everyone involved. I think Maria will do a great job.”

Maria Vazquez was sworn in during a brief ceremony at the end of Tuesday’s meeting.

“Thank you for this opportunity to continue the good work that Jesse has done,” she said.

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