Meet the District 3 candidates for Roscoe: Ray Thompson and John Guevara


Two candidates, John M. Guevara and Ray Thompson, are running as Republicans for Winnebago County Board of Trustees District 3. On the March 19 Republican primary ballot, besides President of the United States, District 3 is the only contested race. There is no Democratic candidate for the post, so the winner of the Republican primary in March will become the winner in November. District 3 represents much of Roscoe.

If voter turnout is low for the March 19, 2024 primary, this election may end up being decided by party loyalists, who always show up in greater numbers for primary elections, where up to 80% of registered voters don't vote. 

Since Illinois has "partially open" primaries, registered voters can ask for either party's ballot at their polling place on March 19, regardless of their usual affiliation. Democrats who want a voice in the District 3 election can ask for a Republican primary ballot. Of course in the general election in November, voters can choose candidates of any party, for any office.

District 3 includes the Rock River, Hononegah Forest Preserve, Kelly Myers Park, Goldie B. Floberg Center, Riverside Park, Roscoe Middle School, and Schnucks, and many Roscoe restaurants. On the current Winnebago County map [PDF], revised in 2021, District 3 is colored "sorrell brown." It includes downtown Roscoe east to 90 and west to Old River Road. Its eastern border runs south along 251 to Ralston Road/173.

Five years ago, both Guevara and Thompson were living in Rockford before they moved to the Village of Roscoe. They have both spent more than 30 years in Winnebago County but were born in Chicago. Both have mentored students, served on committees and boards, and helped with community paint projects. They have even both worked at Sundstrand.

Ray Thompson's experience includes building an aircraft simulation lab under budget, managing an FAA certification lab, and overseeing a systems team for an international aircraft manufacturer. He recently retired from Collins Aerospace, formerly Sundstrand, where he was an engineer and manager. He holds a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Northern Illinois University in Dekalb and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from UW Madison, with a focus on business strategy. His website is

John Guevara's experience includes seven years as a member of the Winnebago County Board. He was vice-chairman of the Winnebago County Republican Central Committee and Illinois chairman of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly. In 2019, he served as Legislative Chief of Staff for State Senator Brian Stewart in his Freeport office. He works as a senior business development manager at Lucky Street Gaming. He holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Princeton University. Guevara's website is


John Guevara says, “I am the most experienced candidate in this race…. I keep my promises. I promised to support development that made sense and had the support of the community and surrounding neighbors…. I promised our property taxes wouldn’t go up…. I promised to invest in better roads and to increase investment in public safety.” [read more]

Ray Thompson says, “I have a strong background in problem-solving, system analysis, root cause investigations, and implementing efficient and effective robust solutions… I am committed to improving Winnebago County…by advocating for more jobs, greater transparency in county operations, and fiscal responsibility.” [read more]

Over the years, John Guevara has received more than $19,000 in campaign contributions from individuals and groups such as Sheet Metal Workers Local 219, GOP County Board Caucus, and Chicago Land-Operators Joint Labor Management PAC, and a PAC which contributes to candidates who support building trades issues. Ray Thompson has not received any contributions yet, though he gave $500 to elect Village of Roscoe trustees Mike Wright, Michael Sima, William Babcock, and Village President Carol Gustafson.

John Guevara's endorsements

John Guevara is officially endorsed by the Republican caucus of the Winnebago County Board of Trustees, County Sheriff Gary Caruana, County Chairman Joe Chiarelli, County Coroner Jennifer Muraski, Circuit Clerk Tom Klein, State's Attorney J Hanley, Harlem Township Supervisor Gary Jury, Roscoe Township Supervisor Bob Nowicki, and former state Representative Jim Sacia. He was also proud of his endorsement by former Congressman Don Manzullo, but Manzullo has since withdrawn his endorsement.

John Guevara is providing the leadership that Winnebago County needs. He understands that public safety isn’t just about better jobs and better schools; it’s about a better future for our children and grandchildren. Due in no small part to his leadership on the County Board, Winnebago County is safer today than when he took office. That is why I fully endorse John Guevara.

– Sheriff Gary Caruana

I have found (John) Guevara to not only be reliable and hardworking… he is genuinely concerned for the people in our community and wants to make improvements that benefit all of us living in Rockford.

-Carol Benson, former homeschool mom

Ray Thompson's endorsements

Ray Thompson is endorsed by Paul Hofmann, Harlem Township trustee and chair of the Winnebago County Republican Central Committee, as well as by Village of Roscoe trustees Mike Wright, Michael Sima, and William Babcock. He is also endorsed by several Republican Precinct Committeepersons:

  • Pam Harding - Precinct Committeeperson Harlem 4 - Harlem School Board Candidate
  • Katie Littlefield - Precinct Committeeperson Harlem 21 - Former Hononegah School Board Member
  • Steve Scherrer - Precinct Committeeperson Roscoe 11
  • Cliff Jensen - Precinct Committeeperson Rockton 13 - Active with Talcott Library in Rockton
  • Lowell Ingram - Precinct Committeeperson Harlem 15 - Harlem School Board Candidate
  • Tim Simms - Former Illinois State Senate District 34 - Precinct Committeeperson Rockton 8 - alderman
  • Connie Gleasman - Precinct Committeeperson Rockton 2

I have had the opportunity to work with Ray Thompson for many years. I endorse him for Winnebago County Board District 3 because of the capability, skills and hard work that he will bring to this position. Ray has a history of strong business and professional performance, problem solving skills, listening, character and integrity. Ray has not been active in the political system but he has actively served in the community. His alignment with the Republican party and its values is strong. This is why he edges out his opponent in my view.

-Paul Hofmann, Harlem Township trustee

After John Guevara sent a mailing that called Thompson a RINO (Republican in Name Only), Hofmann added:

I am proud to endorse my friend and former colleague for the Winnebago County Board District 3 seat. Ray Thompson and I worked together as engineers for the Sundstrand Corporation, and I have always known him to be a hard-working man of integrity. He comes to the Republican Party as a fresh face, but his heart and his principles have always been those of our shared values. A Republican in Name Only, a RINO, is someone who pretends that they are a Republican, but their dishonest acts and lack of work ethic expose them. Ray Thompson is a TRUE Republican who is honest and a dedication to every job he undertakes. He will be a great member of the Winnebago County Board and I fully endorse him.

-Paul Hofmann, Harlem Township trustee

Being [Village of Roscoe] trustees right now, we feel and see more than ever the need for Roscoe to be a bigger picture in the eyes of Winnebago County Board members. We feel that Ray Thompson will be focused on our district and make all efforts possible to bring more light to Roscoe and its constituents.

-Mike Wright
-Mike Sima
-William Babcock

Mike Wright later added:

Who is Ray Thompson? A retired engineer who gives back to his Roscoe community through mentorship and school and church volunteerism. A conservative who knows how to build and sustain relationships... a collaborator and problem-solver… a data-driven decision maker. What’s his angle? To bring a history of strong business and professional performance to the Winnebago County Board District 3. Why Vote for Ray? Not your typical politician, Ray Thompson will listen to all viewpoints and represent District 3 with character and integrity, maintaining the values we believe in.

Mike Sima and William Babcock later added:

We wholeheartedly endorse Ray Thompson for Winnebago County Board District #3.
Why? As a former engineer, he brings a history of strong business and professional performance to the position. He believes in rolling up his sleeves to listen and collaborate, building relationships as he solves problems, and using data—not emotion—to drive decision making.
As a father and grandfather, Ray is an active volunteer in community churches and schools and a mentor to children. Ray Thompson is the conservative citizen’s voice that Winnebago County needs to maintain the hometown values we believe in.

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