CHAMPAIGN — Republican Jeff Kibler and Democrat Brad Diel have been endorsed by the Champaign County Farm Bureau's political involvement committee in Champaign County Board District 5.
By endorsing Diel, the influentual Farm Bureau rejected Republican board member Max Mitchell, a Champaign Realtor.
"I was not in the interviews," said Farm Bureau Manager Brad Uken, "but from what I understand, the committee decided that the candidates endorsed understood the issues facing the county board, and they matched up well with the Farm Bureau's positions on those issues."
A statement from the political involvement committee said that Kibler, a software and community manager for Infobright, a Champaign technology company, and Diel, a Champaign firefighter, are being backed "because they support key issues impacting agriculture, and possess the skills, knowledge and strong voices to serve" District 5.
"They also bring a common sense approach to governing," the committee said, "they will do what's right for the county, not just what seems right for one party or another."
In addition to Kibler, Diel and Mitchell, Democrat Tracy Luchik is a candidate in County Board District 5. It is one of only three of 11 county board districts where there are contested races this fall. District 5 includes large areas of northwest and west Champaign  (generally west of Duncan Road) south to Old Church Road.
The endorsements likely will mean "some sort of financial contribution" from the Farm Bureau to the campaigns of Diel and Kibler, said Uken.
He said it has not been decided whether the Farm Bureau will get involved in any other county board contest, or in any of the four contested countywide races for auditor, circuit court clerk, county clerk or recorder.