Contests shaping up in some Ford, Iroquois elections
There will be contested races for seats on the Paxton-Buckley-Loda school board and the Loda and Buckley village boards in the April 9 consolidated election, but all other candidates in Ford County and southern Iroquois County will be running unopposed.
Following the Dec. 26 deadline to file nominating petitions to be listed on the ballot, the PBL school board has a contested race, with five candidates running for four open seats.
Incumbents Dawn Bachtold, Shawn Young and Chris Thompson, all of Paxton, are being challenged by newcomers Alan Johnson of Loda and Kevin Harms of Paxton.
Opting not to run for a seventh consecutive term was the school board's longest-serving member, Mike Short of rural Paxton.
In Buckley, there will be a two-way race for village board president, with incumbent Jim Hull being challenged by former trustee Evan Scott Shockley.
Also, there will be four candidates running for three available four-year terms on the board, with incumbents Betty Hull, Becky Weisenbarn and Jim Longest running along with Ardell Goetting, a former board president.
There will also be three people running for a pair of two-year trustee terms, with incumbents Ron Lenington and Terry Whitebird being challenged by newcomer Adam Tofari.
In Loda, there will be a three-way race for village board president.
Running for president are John Zalaker, currently a trustee; Sandy Coffey, a former trustee; and Ron Dudley, a newcomer.
The current village board president, Carol Arseneau, is seeking election as a trustee, rather than as president. She will face incumbents Doug Freed and Roy Hilgendorf and newcomer Patricia Allen in running for three available four-year terms on the board.
Meanwhile, there are no contested races for seats in Paxton city government, as Mayor Bill Ingold is running unopposed for a third consecutive term and just enough candidates are running to fill the city council seats up for election.
Running for the council are: incumbent Alan Meyer and newcomer Linda Glad (Ward 1), incumbent Del Bruens (Ward 2), incumbents Brad Marshall and Marc Amore (Ward 3) and newcomer Rob Steiger (Ward 4).
Not running for re-election were Aldermen Bill Goben (Ward 1) and Josh Garrell (Ward 4).
For the Paxton Park District board, only three candidates — all incumbents — filed for five open seats. Opting not to run for re-election were Eric Evans, the board's president, and Commissioner Kathleen McCabe.
There will also be no contested races for seats up for election on the Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley school board and on the city councils or village boards of Gibson City, Elliott, Melvin, Rankin, Roberts or Sibley — although enough candidates filed in order to have a complete slate on the ballot.