Two mayoral races will highlight a busy Tazewell County Consolidated Election slate April 2.
In East Peoria, John P. Kahl will be running against Timothy J. Jeffries for mayor and Norman Sales, Stephen Matheny Daniel S. Decker, Mark Hill, Rocio Matthews, Michael Lee Sutherland and Seth D. Mingus will be vying for four open commissioner positions.
“Consolidated (elections) are always a bit busier because you have the smaller entities,” said Tazewell County Elections Supervisor Vanessa Reynolds. “You pick up the libraries, the fire districts and the school districts.”
Pekin’s incumbent Mayor John McCabe will seek re-election against Pekin City Council member Mark Luft. John Abel, Rick Hilst, Karen Hohimer, David Nutter and Matthew T. Tucker will vie for three open seats on the Pekin City Council. Kelly Cole, Karen Frazier, Brad Curless and Debby Smith are the candidates to fill three open seats on the Pekin Grade School District 108 Board of Education.
“We’ve got a unique circumstance in that Pekin has a mayor’s race and East Peoria has a mayor’s race,” said Tazewell County Clerk John Ackerman. “It’s the first time in a number of years they’ve had a mayor’s race because they’ve each had incumbents that haven’t been challenged before.
Washington will feature four contested alderman races. In Ward One, Lilija V. Stevens will run against Joe Roberts. The Ward Two contest will pit Todd Yoder against Carol K. Moss. Brielle Meinders will oppose David Dingledine in Ward Three, and Randall Black compete with Aaron Boyles for a seat in Ward Four. Joann Bailey, Diane Koth, Linda Fitzgerald, Aaron James and Stacey Morris are running to fill three open Washington District Library trustee positions. Julie Diers, Bryan Cherry, Matthew Ward, Michelle Unes, Matthew Gorman and Christopher M. Fink are the candidates for three open seats for Washington’s Central School District 51.
Ackerman emphasized the historic nature of the Washington alderman elections.
“For the first time since the 1960s, every ward in the municipality (has) somebody running for alderman,” he said.
In North Pekin, Alex Lambie, Gloria Arrington, Kathe Curless, Terri Lynn Plemons and Sarah Gosch will vie for three open village trustee seats. Debra Hoehn, John LaVigne and Kim Watson are on the ballot to fill three village trustee seats in South Pekin. James L. Holloway, Jennifer Rotherman, Jill Sitter and Christi Grogan are seeking election to South Pekin Grade School District 137’s three open Board of Education seats.
Morton voters will choose between candidates Kimberley S. Larrabee, Shad Beaty, Tim Braker and Jeff Schmidgall to fill three vacancies on the Morton Community Unit School District 709 Board of Education. The board stipulates that, based on existing membership, no more than two candidates from Morton’s incorporated areas may be elected. Schmidgall is the only candidate from an unincorporated area.
Tazewell County voters will also decide the fate of a proposed retailers’ occupation tax and a service occupation tax at a rate of 1 percent to be used exclusively for school facility purposes.
“(Voting) is our heritage,” said Reynolds. “You have to be able to go out there and voice your opinion and be heard. It’s a right. It’s a duty. (Many) people don’t understand the importance of the election process and getting out there and being an asset to the community. One way to do it is to vote.”
Early voting for the April 2 Consolidated Election began Thursday at the Tazewell County Clerk’s office, located in the McKenzie Building, 11 S. Fourth St. Suite 203, Pekin, and will continue through April 1. Delavan, Mackinaw and Hopedale are offering temporary early voting sites. Early voting in Delavan will be conducted from 7 to 10 a.m. and from 4 to 7 p.m. March 4, at 212 Locust St. Mackinaw’s early voting site, the Mackinaw Community Center at 101 S. Orchard St., will be open from 7 to 10 a.m. and from 4 to 7 p.m. March 5. Hopedale will conduct early voting from 7 to 10 a.m. and from 4 to 7 p.m. March 6 at Hopedale Village Hall, 101 SE Main St.
For more information, call Tazewell County Elections Division at 309-477-2267.