News Local/State

Hartke Resigns From Champaign County Board

Champaign County Board member Joshua Hartke

Champaign County Board member Joshua Hartke (D-Champaign), at a 2017 meeting of the county Nursing Home Board. Hartke has announced he's resigning from the county board, as he prepares to move to Colorado for a new job. Jim Meadows / Illinois Public Media

Champaign Democrat Joshua Hartke is resigning from the Champaign County Board to take a job in Colorado.

In a resignation letter shared on his Facebook page, the 43-year-old native of Dieterich said he was proud of his county board work, including his opposition to selling the Champaign County Nursing Home, and expanding the satellite jail to create a new county jail facility. Hartke says another county board accomplishment during his time there was the creation of the Champaign County Racial Justice Task Force, and progress in implementing its recommendations.

“I am proud of the work done,”, wrote Hartke, “despite obstacles in our way and the constant, unwavering opposition of Republicans on the board.”

Hartke is leaving the Champaign County Board halfway through his second term as one of two representatives of District Six. He’s also leaving the chairmanship of the county board’s Democratic caucus.

“With hard work from a group of committed local activists, I am leaving the county board Democratic caucus stronger, more diverse, more progressive, and more united than it has ever been,” wrote Hartke.

Hartke sought the Champaign County Board chairmanship in 2014, with the backing of the Democratic caucus. But he lost to fellow District Six Democrat Pattsi Petrie, who won the post with mostly Republican support. 

Before his county board service, Hartke ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2002, losing to Republican Tim Johnson in the old 15th Congressional District. In the current election season, Hartke worked on the primary campaign of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Daniel Biss.

Hartke is also an author, having published two volumes and a related story in a fantasy series called the Dragonsoul Saga. A third volume is completed and awaiting publication, according to Hartke's Facebook page.

Hartke’s last day on the county board is April 30th. Champaign County Board Chairman Pius Weibel says he plans to appoint a successor nominated by Democratic leaders in Hartke’s county board district, sometime next month.