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Decatur Mayor Announces Candidacy for State Senate

Decatur Mayor Mike McElroy says he is running on the Republican ticket in Illinois' newly created 48th Senate District.

McElroy was elected in April 2009 to finish the term of former mayor Paul Osborne. He won re-election this year, and his mayoral term ends in 2015. McElroy credits his efforts - during his two year tenure as mayor - in improving the city's economy by making tough decisions, which have included cutting jobs while foregoing tax increases.

"It's one of the things that has kept Decatur with a AA credit rating," McElroy said. "A lot of municipalities are not having that. I just believe the cities, the state need to be run like a business."

McElroy's Democratic challenger in the race is former Springfield City Council member Bill Clutter, who announced his candidacy in July. These days, Clutter serves as Director of Investigations of the Downstate Illinois Innocence Project.

Clutter said the focus of his campaign will be on job creation and political reform in Illinois. He said he would like to see open primaries and term limits in the General Assembly. As of right now, there are no other Democrats in the race, but Clutter suspects that won't continue to be the case.

"The first hurdle is getting through the Democratic primary," he said. "I'm anticipating that this will be a contested primary. I'm running the race as if it is. I can't think ahead to the general election without focusing first on the primary."

The Herald and Review reports Andy Manar, who is the chief of staff to Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, is also interested in running for the open Senate seat. Manar did not immediately return a call for comment.

The 48th Senate District seat includes downtown Decatur and downtown Springfield, and also stretches to parts of Macoupin and Madison counties.

Categories: Biography, Government, Politics