Third Democrat interested in run for county auditor
Champaign County Democrats heard Sunday from a third person interested in running for county auditor: Ben Carlson of Champaign.
Carlson, 28, is a Champaign native who played basketball at and graduated from Judson University in Elgin. He graduated from Mattoon High School in 2001. He works at the Hall Insurance Services in Champaign.
He joins Kevin Sandefur and George Danos as announced Democratic contenders for auditor. The current county auditor, Champaign Democrat Tony Fabri, has not announced whether he will run for a second full term. But he was not at the fall Democratic Party picnic Sunday afternoon.
"I'm very strongly considering running for auditor," Carlson said. "I've got my team together. We're getting ready to hit the ground and distribute petitions and talk to the people and find out what their concerns are and go from there."
Carlson has not run for office before nor has he been active in politics.
"I think this matches the skills and experience I have," he said. "The people need an honest candidate, somebody who has integrity and will have transparency in office."
So far there is only one announced Republican candidate for auditor, John Farney of Urbana. Farney is a deputy in the county clerk's office.
Also Sunday, Urbana City Council member Charlie Smyth said he is "pretty well certain" that he will run for county clerk against Republican Gordy Hulten, who was appointed to the post earlier this year.
"My big issues are technical competence, I bring 30 years of IT and statistical knowledge to the county," Smyth said, "and I believe I can provide a fair and neutral support structure to the county clerk's office."
State's Attorney Julia Reitz also attended the picnic and said she doesn't believe she will be opposed for reelection to a third term next November.