The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

November 16, 2012

7 council seats up for election

BY JENNIFER BAILEY
Commercial-News

DANVILLE — Following an unsuccessful attempt to join the Vermilion County Board, Ward 5 Alderman Mike Puhr will now seek re-election to the city council.

Puhr and other city council candidates can start filing for the spring city council election on Monday. Candidates will have two fewer days to file their petitions due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

The Vermilion County Courthouse annex will be closed Thanksgiving, and Friday, Nov. 23.

Barbara Dreher, executive director of the Danville Election Commission, said she checked with the Illinois State Board of Elections and made sure she wasn’t to extend the filing period by two days due to the holiday. She said state election officials told her the filing dates are set for Nov. 19 through Nov. 26.

Seventeen people have picked up election petitions to possibly file to run for alderman. Seven alderman seats are up for election, one in each ward. 2015 is the next mayoral election.

Six of the seven aldermen whose seats are up for city election next year have indicated they will seek re-election.

Ward 2 Alderwoman Lois Cooper has said she won’t run again.

Aldermen picking up their packets to seek re-election: Rickey Williams Jr. in Ward 1; Bill Gilbert in Ward 3; Sharon McMahon in Ward 4; Puhr in Ward 5; Steve Nichols in Ward 6; and Steve Foster in Ward 7.

Nichols and Foster are 20-year council members.

Puhr said he picked up a packet to run for his fourth term as an alderman representing Ward 5.

This time it’s a new district “which dropped off some of my friends with the redrawing of the ward map,” Puhr said in an e-mailed statement.

“I will continue to represent most of the previous Ward 5 and I look forward to representing new friends in my new area picked up around the American Legion which were previously in Ward 6,” Puhr said in his statement.

Dreher said a primary election could be needed in Ward 3 if four or more possible candidates file.

Those who have picked up packets for Ward 3 are Gilbert seeking re-election, Roosevelt J. Davis, Theodore P. Caudill and Jonah Stitt.

If there are four candidates in any one race, there still could be a primary race depending on the write-in period because there could be a fifth candidate. A primary election is conducted if there are five or more people running for a seat. State law changed the number from three or more people running for a seat to help smaller jurisdictions save money.

Three people have picked up petitions for Ward 2.

Dreher said some have asked that their names not be released.

Others who have picked up petitions include Darrell Heath and Frank Hoskins for Ward 2, Janis Ostiguy/Byrne for Ward 5, David L. Crawley for Ward 6 and Al Reynolds for Ward 7.

With the redistricting of the wards due to the census, wards have taken on differing areas.

Election packets can be filed starting at 8 a.m. Monday at the Danville Election Commission office in the Vermilion County Courthouse Annex, 6 N. Vermilion St.

Office hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Filings will end at             5 p.m. Nov. 26.

The order of filing determines the order of their names on the ballot.

Those who file for the same office at                 8 a.m. the first day will have a drawing to determine name placement.

Dreher adds that Dec. 3 is the last day to file an objection to any petitions. Also, Dec. 27 is the last day to file an intent to be a write-in candidate.

The consolidated primary election, if needed, will be Feb. 26.

The consolidated election will be on April 9. The elections are non-partisan. The positions are four-year terms.

Candidates for city offices must file a statement of candidacy, loyalty oath (optional), receipt for filing statement of economic interest and petition with the required signatures.

The number of registered voter signatures needed from each ward for the election petitions:

The numbers represent 5-8 percent of votes for that specific office in the last election, Dreher said.

Dreher previously has said depending on the year and which offices are up for election, the election commission can save $6,000 to $7,000 by not having a primary election for one ward, or $20,000 to $25,000 by not having a primary for a citywide elected position.

The cost savings also depends on the polling places, election judges and printing of ballots, she said.