The mayoral election in Champaign may be nonpartisan but that doesn't mean it is.
Tomorrow's contest pits incumbent Jerry Schweighart, a Republican loyalist, against Don Gerard, a hard Democrat.
Perhaps this will give us a chance to measure how Democratic the city of Champaign has become. It's not liberal as the other side of Wright Street, but Champaign has become progressively more Democratic, at least in partisan races. If Gerard wins it will a sign of growing Democratic strength -- as well as the Obama "birther" issue.
Their voting records leave no doubt how Republican or Democratic the candidates are.
Schweighart has voted exclusively Republican in every partisan primary election dating back to 1984. And it appears he hasn't missed any election since 1982.
Gerard has become a more active voter in recent years, voting in Democratic primaries in 2010, 2008, 2002, 2000 and 1998. He has never voted in a Republican primary, and he missed voting in any partisan primary in 2006, 2004, 1996 and 1994. He's voted in every presidential-year general election since 1992. The last gubernatorial-year general election he missed was 1994 (the Jim Edgar/Dawn Clark Netsch race).