Election 2017

Mike Miletich / WGLT

The longest serving Town of Normal council member says he was deeply troubled by the recent municipal election.

During a news conference at Uptown Station Wednesday morning, Councilman Jeff Fritzen said he believes Normal mayoral candidate Marc Tiritilli's campaign  was damaging to what many had worked on within the community.

Staff

The final canvassing of ballots has taken place and incumbent Chris Koos has been re-elected as Mayor of Normal. Koos' margin increased by four votes as he won by an 11 vote final margin. Nearly three dozen mail-in and provisional ballots were counted Tuesday morning.

Koos edged challenger Marc Tiritilli 3,125 to 3114 votes.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

The number of mail in ballots received in the Town of Normal Mayor's race is up to eighteen, according to the McLean County Clerk's office.

13 came in the day after the election and another five on Thursday.

Baylee Steelman / WGLT

Thirteen mail in ballots for Town of Normal races have already arrived at the McLean County Clerk's office the day after the election out of a total of thirty four remaining requested mail in ballots.

Heartland Community College / WGLT

An incumbent lost his seat on the Heartland Community College Board of Trustees.

James Drew finished third in a four way race for two, six-year terms. Incumbent chair Gregg Chadwick won re-election, but finished a distant second to challenger Mary Campbell, who wins a board seat.

Sol and Taunia pose at WGLT studios
Ryan Denham / WGLT

Some new faces will be joining the Unit 5 and District 87 school boards after Tuesday’s election.

In Normal-based Unit 5, longtime district volunteer and parent Taunia Leffler defeated newcomer Sol Roberts-Lieb in its only contested school board race.

“I want to thank everyone who supported me and helped with my campaign,” Leffler, a State Farm employee, posted on her Facebook page. “I'm so excited to represent Unit 5. It was a pleasure running this race for the benefit of our kids and community.”

Sarah Grammer smiles
Mike Miletich / WGLT

A wave of political involvement sparked by the election of Donald Trump in November has resulted in big changes in Normal Township.

After decades of Republican strength, Democrats took the township supervisor's job and three out of four trustee positions in Tuesday's election.

Chris Koos watches results
Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

When all the votes to be counted Tuesday were in, Normal Mayor Chris Koos held a slim seven-vote lead over challenger Marc Tiritilli.

Tari Renner speaks at podium
Mike McCurdy / WGLT

Mayor Tari Renner won a second term Tuesday over conservative challenger Kevin Lower, as incumbents also held on in three wards across the city.

Marc speaks to supporters
Baylee Steelman / WGLT

Polls closed at 7 p.m. today as Bloomington-Normal voters chose their mayors, several aldermen and council members, township officials, and other elected positions.

ladrachok / Flickr via Creative Commons

Election coordinators in McLean County are forecasting only a slight turnout increase from four years ago, in spite of a larger than usual number of candidates and contested races.

But there are pockets of very high turnout. The Village of Lexington is one. There is a mayoral race there.

Staff / WGLT

McLean County voters head to the polls Tuesday, and for many it will be the first time at the ballot box since the election of Donald Trump.

Ken Chui

The surge in contested races and candidates running for municipal offices in the April Consolidated Elections has not translated into an equal increase turnout in McLean County, though there will likely be some improvement over four years ago.

Following the November election, significant political activity began to happen among some constituencies in McLean County.

Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

In their last face-to-face meeting prior to next Tuesday's municipal election, the two candidates for mayor of Bloomington debated whether the community is in a recession.

Sarah Grammer, left, and Cheryl Gaines
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

The two candidates for Normal Township supervisor have opposing views on making the public assistance program more efficient.

Township duties are to determine the value of property for taxation, to take care of roads not maintained by other government entities, and to distribute welfare to the local poor who are not eligible for other public aid.

Sol and Taunia pose at WGLT studios
Ryan Denham / WGLT

A longtime district volunteer will face off against a professional educator in the only head-to-head matchup for Unit 5 school board in the April 4 election.

Taunia Leffler and Solomon "Sol" Roberts-Lieb, both of south Bloomington, are vying for one of three 4-year terms on the Unit 5 school board. Because of limits on how many board members can reside in certain areas of the district, either Leffler or Roberts-Lieb can win—but not both.

Staff / WGLT

Normal Town Council candidates said they find the idea of combining the Bloomington and Normal public libraries an intriguing one.

At a GLT candidates forum held at ISU's University Galleries, candidate Chemberly Cummings embraced a question about merging library services rather than building a new library in Uptown South in Normal and an expansion in downtown Bloomington.

Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

A Facebook group called "Bloomington Deserves Better Than Kevin Lower" is attacking the mayoral candidate for a 3-year-old response to an alleged racist post on a page titled the Marcus Garvey Society.

On the page was a comment suggesting that "if African Americans really wanted to escape racism, it might be time for them to move to the land of the ancestors."

Erik Bush at GLT studios
Ryan Denham / WGLT

There is now only one contested race for Unit 5 school board in the April 4 election.

Erik Bush of north Normal withdrew his candidacy Wednesday, citing personal reasons. That means his opponent, incumbent Joseph Cleary of Normal, is now uncontested for one of three 4-year positions open on the board.

Staff / WGLT

The closure of Macy's in Eastland Mall is a symbol of retail upheaval nationwide according to Bloomington City Council candidates in wards one, five, and seven.

Vote Today sign on a sidewalk
Ken Chui

There will be two candidates left for Bloomington Mayor by the time polls close in today's primary election. 

Incumbent Mayor Tari Renner is being opposed by current council members Diana Hauman and Kevin Lower, as well as retired fire-fighter Robert Fike, and former talk-radio host Ian Bayne.

Bloomington Election Commission Executive Director Paul Shannon said there were just over 5,800 total voters by 4 p.m. 

182nd Airlift Wing / Flickr

Several months after first being mentioned as a possible candidate for Governor of Illinois, U.S. Representative Cheri Bustos has decided against it.

The congresswoman from East Moline and the 17th District said she will run for re-election next year instead.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Downtown revitalization figured strongly in answers during the GLT Bloomington Mayoral candidates forum.

Alderman Kevin Lower said during the event at Illinois State University's University Galleries, the city is not paying enough attention to the periphery of the community.

Michael Hill / WGLT

Bloomington's city manager thinks "you have to look at the reality" when it comes to some of the proposals being floated by candidates running for mayor. 

Mike Miletich / WGLT

During a Bloomington mayoral forum, one candidate said he didn't have to fight against the current mayor, while another candidate said he was ready to fight for Bloomington residents. 

Four of the five candidates spoke at the McLean County Republican Party's breakfast Monday morning. 

Candidate Kevin Lower said even though he disagrees with Mayor Tari Renner's ideals, he doesn't think the candidates need to fight each other. Ian Bayne said candidates need to fight for residents to survive.

Mike Miletich / WGLT

Bloomington Mayoral candidates are pushing platform ideas with about a month until the primary election.

The McLean County Democratic Party hosted a forum at which retired Firefighter and life-long Bloomington resident Robert Fike said the city needs to focus on strong infrastructure.

WGLT

The Appellate Prosecutor's Office has declined to file charges against Normal Town Council member Scott Preston for inaccurate travel expense reimbursement reports.

McLean County State's Attorney Jason Chambers had referred the matter to a special prosecutor because of his relationship with Preston and his former tenure on the Council.

Karen Stauffer

The Mayoral race in the town of Normal is in one sense a referendum on a whole slew of town council decisions to stimulate development and work on the quality of life.

Staff / WGLT

The Libertarian Party of McLean County has three candidates running for Normal Township Trustee in April.

This is a further sign the November election season has prompted greater grass roots involvement in politics. In many past cycles such positions were hard to fill. This year, Democrats are running some candidates for Township offices as well as the candidates fielded by the Republican Party.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Bloomington Ward 3 hopeful J Balmer said there are a number of disturbing things he found with the recent petition challenging process.

The Bloomington Election Commission dismissed all of the petition challenges earlier this week. 

Balmer said he thinks there is a concerted effort by a small group of people to subvert Bloomington elections.

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