Champaign County’s Fall Ballot Could Have Some Vacancies In Local Races
Established political parties in Champaign County are running out of time to name candidates to run for local offices where someone wasn't already slated after the primary.
The deadline is Monday at 5 pm. County Clerk Mark Shelden contends the earlier primary and a new state law requiring signatures on nominating petitions may have dissuaded some from running. "I think that getting a candidate for county board where you only need 20 or 30 signatures... maybe that bar is not so high and it's as big an issue," says Shelden. "But I think certainly for the countywide offices (Sheriff, Treasurer, and County Clerk, each requiring well over 200 signatures for Democrats and Republicans, and 14 for Greens), that new law could be an impediment."
Champaign County Republican Party Chairman Jason Barickman called that a hurdle for some, but he says a slate of candidates announced by his party's central committee Friday proves the political climate has changed for the GOP. "I think we found that there are people who are wanting to step forward and want to effectuate some change," says Barickman. "They want to be responsible for moving the county in a different direction. But maybe more importantly, just feel like it's their role to step and serve the public. And this is a good way to do it."
Champaign County Republicans will submit nominating petitions for County Board seats Five, Six, and Eight. Retired mental health worker Mary Jo Reik is running in District Five. Local volunteer and former Champaign city council candidate Bill Glithero is running in District Six. And Jim Phillips with the University of Illinois' Beckman Institute and U of I student Gina Genero are being slated as candidates in County Board District Eight. Barickman says it's exciting that his party will provide voters in every district with a choice this November.