Urbana's Ammons to make run for 103rd seat

Urbana's Ammons to make run for 103rd seat

URBANA — Democrats in the 103rd House District apparently will have at least two candidates to choose from in the primary election next March.

Urbana City Council member Carol Ammons said she will formally announce her candidacy on Tuesday.

The Illinois House seat currently is held by Rep. Naomi Jakobsson, D-Urbana, who said earlier this month that she would leave the Legislature when her sixth two-year term expires in January 2015.

Champaign County Board member Michael Richards, who once served with Ammons when she was on the county board, already has announced his candidacy and has garnered Jakobsson's endorsement. He also has managed Jakobsson's last two re-election campaigns.

Ammons said Friday that she had talked to Jakobsson about the race.

"I spoke to Naomi and I have spoken with several other folks in elected positions and in the Statehouse," Ammons said. "It was a positive response to it, and the public response has been very positive too.

"I respect the 12 years (Jakobsson) has served and wanted to get her response about steps I should be looking at. She was very gracious to answer my questions. I understand and respect her right to choose the person she'd like to endorse."

At least three other Democrats — Champaign firefighter Pat Devaney, county board member James Quisenberry of Urbana and Champaign attorney Sam Rosenberg — have expressed interest in the seat.

Kristin Williamson, the vice chair of the Champaign County Republican Party, is the only announced Republican candidate in the heavily Democratic district that includes almost all of Champaign-Urbana.

Prospective candidates have until early December to gather signatures on their candidacy petitions to qualify for the March 18 primary election.

"It's a big decision. You can't take it lightly," said Ammons, who had served on the county board from 2008 to 2012, and was elected to the Urbana council in April. "I'm sure everybody is saying, 'Do I really want to do this?'"

Ammons said she planned to announce her candidacy at noon Tuesday at the Lorado Taft statue of Abraham Lincoln at Carle Park in Urbana.

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GOP Dance Party wrote on September 28, 2013 at 7:09 am

I can't see how this won't end poorly...


ROB McCOLLEY wrote on September 28, 2013 at 10:09 am
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Four years ago, while going door-to-door, I talked to some of her neighbors on north Coler. Evidently she had some noisy dogs. Maybe that will stop once the public spotlight intensifies. People behave better when they're constantly in the news. (Well, some do anyhow...)

Marti Wilkinson wrote on September 28, 2013 at 2:09 pm

I've known both Carol and Aaron Ammons for many years, and they don't live on Coler Ave. Plus, I think concerns with noisy dogs is not as much of an issue, as getting a DUI. Richards unfortunately has that on his record, and that is going to hurt him. Getting behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated is a far more serious matter, than barking dogs. 

Richards also lives in my county district, and I emailed him on a couple of occassions regarding county matters. I did not get any response from him. If he is too busy to respond to constituents on a county level, then can he really be effective as a state representative? I respect Naomi's right to support her candidate of choice, but I prefer Carol as the candidate. She has a long history of being involved in the larger community, and I respect the work she has done. 

ROB McCOLLEY wrote on September 28, 2013 at 6:09 pm
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They live on Busey, right?


I wouldn't argue that one is more serious than the other. They can both be serious. If you live with a chronic noise nuisance, you're likely to have a number of associated health problems. That's why it's against the law.

Marti Wilkinson wrote on September 29, 2013 at 12:09 am

"I wouldn't argue that one is more serious than the other."

So a person driving while impaired is not more of a threat, than a neighbor who has a barking dog? I have a next door neighbor who likes to play music in his backyard, and I can sometimes hear it in my bedroom. It hasn't become such a nuisance that I have found it necessary to ask him nicely to quit. 

One of my other neighbors was thrown from a car during a collision. She has had permanent brain damage from the head injuries, and it's had an effect on her in many ways. The severity of the impact of her injuries have become heightened since I moved into my house several years ago. Sometimes I will hear her yelling and screaming at random, and I cut her some slack because I know why she has these issues. If I wanted to live in absolute peace and quiet, I would have moved into a rural area without neighbors years ago. If you live in a city, you adapt. 

I was injured in a car accident some years ago. The other driver failed to stop his vehicle when the light turned red and he rear-ended me. I spent several months getting treated for the injuries to my neck, and I still occasionally flare up. One moment of stupidity can have long term effects. 

I'm sure if you talk to the people who have lost loved ones due to someone driving drunk, they would not be inclined to say that driving while impaired is 'less serious' than barking dogs. 

It could be argued that Richards learned his lesson from his DUI, and has made an honest and sincere effort to not screw up again. However, I also think it's reasonable to want to see a significant period of time pass before electing him to a position such as state representative. If he can refrain from getting another DUI for 10 years from his first offense, then I think it's fair to give him the benefit of doubt. 





ROB McCOLLEY wrote on September 29, 2013 at 12:09 am
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You're making light of a problem that affects millions of people, and you're doing it in way that's typical of people who make light of that particular problem.  


If you're hoping to advance the cause of Carol Ammons, you're losing a very specific audience. This audience has been vocal enough, and active enough, to enact laws & ordinances in the majority of state & municipal jurisdictions.


In this story, Ammons did a great job of deflecting potential problems & concerns. I'd encourage you to follow her example. 


The behavior is illegal and offensive. You won't make anyone embrace it by saying they should grow up and get used to it. But they'll probably stop listening to you.

gamera wrote on September 30, 2013 at 10:09 am

If it's illegal, tell the neighbors to call the police and have it taken care of instead of complaining to people who cannot do squat about it.

Otherwise, this is no better than gossip-mongering....


ROB McCOLLEY wrote on October 01, 2013 at 12:10 pm
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You'd think it would be as easy as that.

Marti Wilkinson wrote on September 30, 2013 at 6:09 pm

You are correct in that I don't take barking dogs as seriously as I would a DUI. However, I also feel that you are avoiding the issue of Richard's DUI in this discussion, and I got the impression from your previous posts that you consider both barking dogs, and drunk drivers to be on the same level. As someone who lives in the community, I pick and choose my battles, and noisy dogs just aren't a big concern of mine. . 

Many communities have ordinances in place to address these types of issues, and it's something that can be addressed at many city councils. Instead of complaining to someone going door to door, neighbors have the option to contact the proper authorities if pets are being a nuisance. Of course, that can also potentially open up another set of problems, and that is something for individual neighbors to consider. 

If this is something that you feel strongly about, then you have every right to support another candidate. I'm sure that once both Richards and Ammons are running for office, they will have the opportunity to convince voters that they are the best candidates. For all I know, Richards may really come up with something amazing that will convince me to overlook his DUI. At this point, nothing is set in stone. 

Personally, I have not been too impressed with Richard's as a county board member. I have been impressed with the work that Carol has done in the community, and I think she will be a fine replacement for Naomi. I understand that people will not agree with me, and I encourage anyone to vote for the candidate of their choice. 

Even though my own political leanings tend to be left of center, I will support candidates who I believe are sincere in their work. When Tim Johnson ran for congress, I voted for him and much of that was based on my own experiences in dealing with his office at a state level. 

ROB McCOLLEY wrote on September 28, 2013 at 6:09 pm
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