News Local/State

Marlin Wins Urbana Mayor’s Race

Diane Marlin celebrates her victory with supporters at Pizza M in Urbana.

Diane Marlin celebrates her victory with supporters at Pizza M in Urbana. Jeff Bossert/Illinois Public Media

Democratic Alderwoman Diane Marlin will be Urbana’s next mayor after netting more than 4200 votes Tuesday. Republican opponent Rex Bradfield finished with 680. Marlin says two of her top priorities are seeking applicants to fill the vacant chief administrative officer position, and hiring a new police chief to replace Patrick Connolly, who's stepping down effective April 14.

“We’re very focused on community outreach, community-based policing, that’s very important to me,” she said. “I also want community involvement in the hiring process (for both positions.)”

Marlin says she wants to work with developers to fill empty lots in the downtown area, and build out subdivisions throughout the city. 

She hopes to revive the Philo Road Business District by focusing on the property maintenance and crime in the area, and possibly adding a police substation.

At age 70, Bradfield says he’s finished running for office after Tuesday’s defeat, but says he has no regrets. This was his third attempt at the Urbana mayor's office after failed candidacies for the Illinois House in 2006 and Champaign County Recorder in the 2016 primary.

“I gave the voters an option to change the course of the city of Urbana, they did not choose to do it by the voting booth, and that’s the way the United States is,” Bradfield said.

Bradfield also favored filling the chief administrative office post, and said he’ll be curious to see who Marlin chooses.

Marlin, who has served two terms on the Urbana City Council, will be sworn in with new council members on May 1. Marlin is succeeding three-term incumbent Mayor Laurel Prussing, who she defeated in February's Democratic primary.

Marlin says her transition into the office of mayor begins with budget meetings later this week.