Three At-Large Champaign City Council Seats Attract Eight Candidates In April 2nd Election
The April 2 election gives voters in Champaign a chance to decide who will sit in three at-large city council seats for the next four years. They have eight candidates to choose from.
Three candidates are relative newcomers:
Carle pediatrician Jon Paul Youakim says he will bring a community health perspective to the council. He supports drainage improvements in the Garden Hills Neighborhood and maintaining a moratorium on new video gambling in the city.
Kenton Elmore, whose family owns and operates the Jane Addams Bookstore, serves on the Champaign Human Relations Commission. Elmore’s campaign emphasizes safe neighborhoods, preserving the city’s core and bringing in new attractions.
Andrew Christensen describes himself as a science educator, computer scientist and digital artist, and “a creative problem solver who loves building communities”. He is campaigning as part of an informal “Progressive Alliance” slate with other school and park board candidates.
Other candidates will be familiar to those who follow local politics:
Michael La Due cites his past experience in elected office. La Due served as a district city council member for 30 years, including six years as deputy mayor, before his defeat in the 2017 election. His campaign emphasizes neighborhood preservation, social justice and environmental issues.
Also citing her experience is Champaign County Board member and Chair Pattsi Petrie. A campaign flyer cites Petrie’s background as an urban planner, and her role in helping to found Champaign County Healthcare Consumers (CCHCC) and the Preservation and Conservation Association (PACA).
The current at-large council members seeking reelection also cite their past experience as they seek reelection. Matt Gladney cites his attention to economic growth, combatting gun violence and improving infrastructure. William Kyles says his chief concerns have included police-community relations, economic and neighborhood development, and drainage/storm water management issues. And Tom Bruno points to Champaign city government’s performance in reviving its downtown, keeping its finances sound, promoting capital investment and improving its storm water management.
Bruno, Kyles and Gladney don’t always agree on issues. But they’re appearing together on campaign mailers sent out by Mayor Deborah Frank Feinen (who is seeking re-election against challenger Azark David Cobbs).
The mailers cite a News-Gazette endorsement that supports Bruno, Kyles and Gladney on the grounds of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.