Petry Launches 2015 Champaign Mayoral Bid
A candidate running for Champaign mayor next spring says he has the skills to boost the city’s economic viability and bring neighborhoods together.
University of Illinois Economics Professor Joe Petry launched his campaign Thursday.
He’s the fourth person to seek the office, facing incumbent Don Gerard, and city council members Deb Feinen and Karen Foster next April.
Petry sees the campaign as a chance to unite the community – and get a consensus around economic development and job growth.
"You’ve seen perhaps recently the news with regards to the challenges of our property values – (they've) not kept up," he said. "But more importantly than that, we’ve got significant challenges of poverty, employment, and homelessness. And that takes a special skill set, I think.”
A Champaign native, Petry has been a local developer, and owns County Plaza in Urbana. But he said he hasn’t been part of any such projects for years, and is not running for office to make a profit.
Petry says his role as Champaign Park Board president has helped him understand ideas like collaboration and transparency.