Former Urbana mayor enters race for county treasurer

Former Urbana mayor enters race for county treasurer

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URBANA — Seven months after she left the mayor's office in Urbana, Laurel Prussing said today she wants to be the Democratic Party nominee for Champaign County treasurer.

Prussing said she would file her nominating petitions Monday to appear on the March 20 primary election ballot. She needs at least 251 signatures to qualify as a candidate.

John Farney, currently the county auditor, so far is the only candidate for treasurer from either party.

Shortly before she left the mayor's office last spring after being unseated by Diane Marlin in the Democratic Party primary, Prussing, 76, said she "needed a break from this stuff."

Seven months was enough, she said today.

"I had enough of a break," she said. "I wasn't planning on doing this but I was looking for candidates and I couldn't find anybody. Qualified people just didn't want to do it and I thought we needed a candidate and I thought that maybe I should do it.

"And I talked to some people and I got this very enthusiastic response, so that's what I'm doing."

Prussing, who with 34 years in elected office is believed to be the longest-serving Democrat in Champaign County history, would be in her third county office if she were elected next November. She served four years on the county board and 16 years as county auditor. She also served one term in the Illinois House and 12 years as mayor of Urbana.

Prussing said she didn't consider running for auditor to replace Farney.

"No, I've done county auditor and we have a really good candidate, George Danos (who has not yet filed as a candidate), who is a CPA, and treasurer is a different job," she said. "I would look at what the problems are in the finances and how to fix them. What I've historically done is work with coalitions of people to get stuff done, and that includes Republicans as well as Democrats.

"I'd be looking at the problem at the state and federal level, as well as keeping the books."

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CommonSenseless wrote on December 01, 2017 at 11:12 am

34 years and no marketable skill to show for it.  Have to go back to the gubment for a pay check.

ROB McCOLLEY wrote on December 01, 2017 at 3:12 pm
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Not a whole lot of 76 year-olds are developing "marketable skills" these days, or at any time in the past for that matter.

I realize you were just looking to land a jab, but this one probably misses the mark. Given her experience, I actually think she'd be pretty good at this particular job.

On the other hand, I wish the local party would stop running retirees and get back to their 70s strategy of growing their field of potential candidates from the roots upward. The reason there aren't enough younger people available is that they've been kept out of the lower-level jobs by senior citizens with name recognition.

GLG wrote on December 01, 2017 at 3:12 pm

I have an idea! Stay Retired, It will take decades to undo the mess you left in Urbana!

787 wrote on December 02, 2017 at 6:12 am

Hopefully there are enough voters who think that Laurel's break from politics hasn't been long enough.