Prussing on track for re-election
Urbana Mayor Laurel Prussing showed last week that she is the voters' choice, even if there weren't many voters.
Urbana Mayor Laurel Prussing is on the brink of her election to a third term following her victory in last week's Democratic Party primary.
She won by a wide margin, capturing 65 percent of the vote against challenger Les Stratton. But it would not be accurate to say she won a decisive victory because the voter turnout was less than 10 percent of those eligible to cast ballots. However one describes it, Prussing received 1,288 votes to 698 for Stratton.
Since Urbana is an overwhelmingly Democratic community, she goes into the April 9 general election as the clear favorite against Republican Rex Bradfield.
Four years ago, Prussing handily defeated Bradfield. But he has vowed that this time will be different and promised a "significantly different" political game plan.
Voters will just have to wait and see what Bradfield has to offer. But he can be expected to run the same kind of issue-oriented campaign that Stratton did.
Stratton challenged Prussing on her refusal to name a chief administrative officer to run the city on a day-to-day basis as well as for spending too much money on misplaced priorities. He also emphasized the crime issue in southeast Urbana.
After eight years in office, Prussing had a response ready for each criticism, and the relatively few voters who cast ballots favored her.
About the only firm conclusion one can draw from the election is that Illinois' system of spring elections for municipalities, townships, school boards, etc., is a miserable failure. They clearly are held at a time of minimum public interest, and the turnout is pathetic.
It's a circumstance that ought to be addressed by the Illinois General Assembly. The public routinely hears politicians stressing the importance of the right to vote and decrying what they describe as road blocks to higher turnout.
Illinois has a roadblock to voter turnout — low-level elections held in the spring. Why not do something about that?