The spring election in Champaign for a District 5 representative could get a little muddled now that Gordy Hulten, the sitting council member whose name was to be the lone option on the April 5 ballot, likely will resign from the council within the next few weeks to accept his pending appointment to county clerk.
His papers to withdraw his name from the city council ballot are due by tomorrow, he says, and the candidate filing period -- to get a name on the ballot -- has already passed.
While the city council probably would appoint a new council member to the District 5 seat before that election, that appointment would only last until May. The April election decides who would serve from May on, but no one's name would be on the ballot.
So maybe we'll have a write-in candidate? I don't know.
Hulten was appointed to his council seat on April 20, almost two months after its previous occupant resigned, which is roughly the time period that city officials shoot for to get an empty seat filled. Hulten says it is most likely that he'll resign during the first week of January; two months after that is March, which is only a month before the election.
So you can see where it gets muddled. Of course, all of this assumes Hulten's appointment to county clerk will be confirmed by the county board (he's taking a bit of a risk himself to withdraw his name from the city council ballot before he knows he is officially in as county clerk). It'll be interesting to see how this plays out.