Three Candidates Vying for Champaign City Council Seat


The race for a Champaign city council seat next spring will include at least three write-in campaigns.

Jim McGuire, Paul Faraci, and Catherine Emanuel have all filed to run for the District 5 seat being vacated by Gordy Hulten, who has been appointed as the next Champaign County Clerk. By time he was chosen by local Republicans for the office, it was too late for the three candidates' names to appear on the ballot.

McGuire, the president of the U of I's AFSCME local 698, said he is running since he has had a long family history in the community, and has been part of many Republican campaigns. Now, he said he wants to serve in a 'bigger capacity' in rough economic times.

"We have problems with our budget," McGuire said. "I think I can help have an impact. I've been dealing with the budget at the university, and I received the layoff notices myself. I'm trying to work through those issues."

McGuire manages stores and receiving at the U of I. He has twice lost bids for the Champaign school board, in 2001 and 2003. If elected, McGuire said he would resign his position with AFSCME to avoid any conflict of interest.

This is Catherine Emanuel's first bid for public office. She said newcomers and outsiders can have a unique appeal to voters. The health care consultant said she will bring a moderate business perspective to the city council.

"I haven't been involved in politics heavily," Emanuel said. "I see this as an opportunity for people like me who are moderate and not on one side of the extreme or other."

Paul Faraci with the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity said his job experience would bode well on the city council. Faraci was a Democratic Champaign County Board member from 2000 to 2002. His family has a long involvement in downtown business in Champaign.

"Between the three of us, I've had almost 50 years of experience," Faraci said. "That experience will place nicely in this."

Mayor Jerry Schweighart is expected to appoint an interim city council member to the district 5 seat by late next month.

Story source: WILL