Quarnstrom wins township post in Champaign

URBANA — Township government in both Champaign and Urbana will have new top officials after Tuesday night's election.

Democrat Michelle Mayol will take over for a retiring Carol Elliott as township supervisor in Urbana's Cunningham Township — she was unopposed. Democrat Andy Quarnstrom, a Champaign firefighter, will take over for City of Champaign Township Supervisor Pam Borowski, a Republican, after defeating her with 53 percent of the vote on Tuesday night.

Quarnstrom collected 1,643 votes to Borowski's 1,442.

"I feel like I have a good message, and I think the voters saw that," Quarnstrom said.

The primary responsibility of township government in Champaign and Urbana is to distribute general assistance — a form of welfare — to people who have little or no income and are mentally or physically incapable of working. Quarnstrom has said he wants to ensure that process is the least prohibitive that it can be.

"I think the fund is healthy," Quarnstrom said. "It's statutory, so there are only so many variables that I can put in place."

Quarnstrom said he is looking forward to sitting down with Borowski to see what ideas she had for the township. He said his first duty will be to meet and introduce himself to township staff — there are two full-time staffers in the supervisor's office.

He also said he hopes to update the agency's website so "people at the click of a button can find out what's going on with the township."

Contested township assessor races in City of Champaign and Cunningham townships on Tuesday night were both won by the incumbents.

City of Champaign Township Assessor Brian Christie will remain in his position after collecting 1,588 votes, 51.2 percent of the total. He defeated newcomer Wayne Williams, who received 1,510 votes.

Cunningham Township Assessor Dan Stebbins, a Democrat, won decisively over challenger Laura Sandefur, who was running as an independent candidate. Stebbins collected nearly 60 percent of the vote.

Sandefur was confirmed as a ballot candidate only about three weeks ago. Stebbins had challenged her candidacy on the grounds that she is a Democrat — not an independent — and the issue was tied up in the courts for months.

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