Prussing for mayor
Urbana Mayor Laurel Prussing has earned another term in office.
Spring elections don't attract much attention, so many aren't aware that voters will decide some big issues on April 9.
Nowhere is the decision bigger than in Urbana, where voters will choose between two-term Democratic mayoral incumbent Laurel Prussing and her Republican challenger Rex Bradfield.
The race is a replay of the contest four years ago, when Prussing handily defeated Bradfield. Then, The News-Gazette endorsed Prussing for a second term in office. Because we believe she has done a solid job under difficult circumstances, we now endorse her for a third term.
That's not to minimize either Bradfield's credentials and enthusiasm for the mayor's office or his grasp of the issues. His campaign this year is more low-key than it was four years ago, but, to his credit, he offers the same issue-oriented approach that provides voters a real choice on Election Day.
In a city as heavily Democratic as Urbana, no one could have blamed Bradfield, an engineer by profession, if he had chosen not to undertake a difficult campaign. Instead, he stepped up to the plate.
But there simply is no good reason to replace Prussing. She has managed the serious financial challenges the city has faced in a commendable fashion. Her administration has responded to crime problems in southeast Urbana in an aggressive manner. Despite her reputation for preferring to do things her way only, Prussing has developed a solid working relationship with a mostly Democratic city council and demonstrated a capacity to work collegially with council members to come up with solutions to problems.
What's most impressive about Prussing is her willingness and ability to take on difficult fights and come out on top. Exhibit A for that proposition is her ultimately successful effort, perceived by many to be futile, to keep the University of Illinois Police Training Institute here rather than allow it to move to Western Illinois University in Macomb.
The News-Gazette does not always see eye-to-eye with Prussing on state and local issues. But we do not question her integrity, her ability or her determination to do the best she can for the citizens she serves. She has earned another term.