A D versus R mayoral election in Champaign

A D versus R mayoral election in Champaign

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).







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jthartke wrote on April 04, 2011 at 3:04 pm

Doesn't the NG normally decry looking up people's voting records?

cuvoter wrote on April 04, 2011 at 6:04 pm

So Gerard gets a bunch of high profile Republican endorsements and all of a sudden it's D vs R. Great reporting Tom.

David McDaniel wrote on April 04, 2011 at 8:04 pm

How coincidental this appears the night before the election. The election may be nonpartisan, but the News-Gazette sure isn't.

Tom Kacich wrote on April 04, 2011 at 8:04 pm
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I cannot recall the newspaper ever decrying looking up someone's voting record.
And what's wrong with reporting the fact that one candidate is a diehard D and the other is a diehard R?
Do you actually believe this blog post -- based solely on facts -- could influence the vote for mayor of Champaign? If only ...
Finally, who are the high-profile Republicans who endorsed Gerard?

serf wrote on April 05, 2011 at 7:04 pm

So what's the point, exactly, Tom? Why are you injecting party politics into a non-partisan race? It is pretty clear that you're trying to stir up something.

cuvoter wrote on April 05, 2011 at 5:04 am

Republicans endorsing Gerard:
Eric Bussell, owner of HalfwayInteresting.com, GOP precinct committeeman, Son in Law of Former GOP Chairman Steve Hartman
Jeff Kibler, Bill Brady's Campaign Manager for Central Illinois

Marti Wilkinson wrote on April 05, 2011 at 5:04 am

In primary elections my own voting records have shown me casting a Democrat ballot, yet in general elections I'm more inclined to vote on a split ticket. I'm more concerned about voting for the "right" person for the job, than I am about partisanship. I seldom agree with any candidates for office in regards to all of the issues on the table, but I will vote for the candidate who I agree with the most.

If you read the "Halfway Interesting" blog, you will see endorsements for Mr. Gerard come from local Republicans. One example was written by Jeff Kibler:


Regardless of who people choose to support, I hope that local residents will get out and vote today.

John O'Connor wrote on April 05, 2011 at 4:04 pm

It would have nice to see these cross party endorsements referenced in this story about the party affiliation of the two candidates.