Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Meredith Reid Sarkees and her husband John are natives of Niagara Falls, New York, and moved to Nunda Township after living there and in Romeo, Michigan.
Meredith spent most of her career as a professor of political science at Niagara University and DePaul University, while John is an automotive engineer. Meredith is currently working as a consultant and an author, while retaining an honorary appointment as a faculty fellow with the Women & Politics Institute at American University.
She has written extensively on issues relating to women's leadership, the making of American foreign policy, and international wars. As Director of the Global Women’s Leadership in International Security (GWLIS) project, she is interviewing women who are leaders in the realm of international security, including women in both governmental and non-governmental organizations. This project led Meredith to create ties with women's organizations in Sri Lanka, where she did volunteer work in the wake of the 2004 tsunami.
Meredith has become involved with a number of local organizations, particularly the McHenry County Democratic Party. She was appointed and then elected as the Precinct Representative for Nunda 14.

Meredith received her B.A. in political science from Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio; her M.A. in international affairs from George Washington University in Washington, DC; and her Ph.D. in political science from the State University of New York at Buffalo.


Patrick Murfin was born in Montana on March in 1949 and grew up in Cheyenne, Wyoming. The family left Cheyenne and relocated to Skokie, Illinois in 1966.

Patrick attended Shimer College, then in Mt. Carroll, Illinois and Columbia College in Chicago, where he studied creative writing. As a student he became involved in the anti-war movement. In the summer of 1968 Patrick was a participant in most of the major actions around the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

In1969, Patrick joined the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW.) He served the union in many positions including Editor of the Industrial Worker and, at the age of 23, General Secretary-Treasurer. With Fred W. Thompson he co-authored The IWW: Its First Seventy Years 1905-1975.

Patrick was a member of the staff of The Chicago Seed, the city’s underground paper in the early ‘70’s.

Patrick was tried, convicted, and sentenced to prison 1973 for refusing induction into the Armed Forces. He served six months.

He returned to active participation in the labor movement. He helped found the first Chicago labor support committee for the United Farm Workers, marched with Cesar Chavez, and helped organize the city’s first grape boycott. While working as a drill press operator at Dietzgen Corporation, he was elected Secretary of the Employees Association and served on the bargaining committee.

He also became involved in community organizations. He drafted the constitution and by-laws for what became the Ravenswood East Association and was active in the Logan Square Neighborhood Association where he coordinated gang awareness, graffiti removal projects and neighborhood watch programs.

He got involved in electoral politics as a volunteer for Independent Democratic aldermanic campaigns and was active in Harold Washington’s mayoral campaigns.

In 1981 Patrick married Kathy Brady-Larsen, a young widow with two daughters, Carolynne and Heather.

After the birth of daughter Maureen in 1983, the family moved to Crystal Lake in 1985. Patrick found work as a school custodian.

In the fall of 1989, Patrick became a Precinct Committeeman in the McHenry County Democratic Party and has served continuously ever since. Later, when the office of Vice Chair of the Party was left vacant by a death he was appointed to fill out the term and was elected in his own right the next year. Upon Chairman Bob McGarry’s death he served briefly as County Chair. He was elected Secretary in the 2008.

Patrick has twice before been a candidate for office. In 1997 he ran for Crystal Lake City Council and in 2002 ran for County Board District 3.

Patrick has been a long term lay leader at the Congregational Unitarian Church in Woodstock.
In 1995 Patrick helped found the Diversity Day Festival in held annually on Woodstock Square and is now its Executive Director.

He served a term on the Crystal Lake Human Relations Commission.

Patrick was among the founders of the McHenry County Peace Group, which he has served as press and public relations spokesperson.

In 2004 Skinner House Books of Boston published his poetry collection We Build Temples in the Heart.

The same year Patrick was retired as a Head Building Custodian. He is currently Communication Manager and Non-Profit Consultant for Oaktree Capital Corporation in Woodstock.

Patrick launched his blog, Heretic, Rebel, a Thing to Flout, in January of 2006.


We celebrated the inauguration of Barack Obama as President at a party organized by MoveOn members at Porters’s Oyster Bar in Crystal Lake. Meredith is shown with Dan Gialombardo, District 3 Chair of the McHenry County Democratic Party. District 3 encompasses all of Nunda Township. Patrick snapped the photo. Together we hope to bring the same energy, passion, and conviction to local government as the President has to national office.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


On Tuesday, January 13, 2008 Democrats meeting at the Nunda Township Hall selected Meredith Reid Sarkees and Patrick Murfin as candidates for trustee in the April 7 local elections.

Sarkees of unincorporated Crystal Lake is a ten year McHenry County resident is a professor of political science who has published widely on international relations, war and women. She told the caucus voters that she felt the time had come in her life and career to turn her attention to local government and service.

Murfin of Crystal Lake is the Secretary of the Democratic Party of McHenry County and previously ran for Crystal Lake City Council in 1997 and for McHenry County Board from District 3 in 2002.

Nunda Democrats identified groundwater preservation, open space, and regional planning as top issues in the upcoming campaign.

Watch this space for more information on Meredith and Patrick, news, events, and examination of the issues.

Early voting begins Monday March 16 and Election Day is Tuesday April 7.