DANVILLE — More than 25 candidates filed nominating petitions in the Vermilion County Clerk's office on Monday, the first day that candidates can file for the March primary ballot that will include races for five countywide offices and all 27 county board seats.
As expected, three filed for the Recorder of Deeds office: Republican and Danville attorney Tom O'Shaughnessy; retiring special education teacher Deborah Runyan, who's also vying for the Republican nomination; and Nikki Bogart, who's a Democrat and the financial resources officer in the Vermilion County board office. All three are newcomers who would like to succeed outgoing Recorder Barbara Young, a Republican who announced earlier this year that she would not seek re-election.
Monday was the first day for candidates to file paperwork in the clerk's office to have their names listed on the ballot for the March 20 primary, which will determine candidates for the November 2012 general election. The filing period ends at 5 p.m. Dec. 5.
The other four who filed Monday for other countywide offices are all incumbents, and more than half of those who filed for county board seats are also incumbents.
But one of the newcomers is Mike Puhr, a current Danville city alderman in Ward 5, who filed Monday to run as a Democrat for a county board seat in District 6. The three seats in that district are currently held by Republicans Bob Fox and John Alexander, who both filed Monday, and Republican Craig Chambers, who said he does not plan to seek re-election. Republican and newcomer Dennis Miller also filed in that district.
Puhr said he will resign as Danville alderman if he wins election to the county board, and he might not run for re-election as aldermen in 2013 even if he doesn't win a seat on the county board. Puhr's term as alderman ends in May 2013, and if he were elected to the county board in November 2012, he would take office the very next month, leaving only about five months remaining in his term as alderman.
He said after three terms as an alderman and being involved with city matters since 1994, he believes he's done his due diligence in that part of local government. He said he would still be representing a lot of the same people in the city if he were elected to the county board in District 6.
Those who filed Monday for countywide offices are Republican Dennis Gardner, who will be seeking another four-year term as Vermilion County Circuit Clerk. Linda Lucas Anstey, a Democrat, filed for re-election as Vermilion County Auditor, an office she has held for several terms. And Randall J. Brinegar, a Republican, filed to run for another term as Vermilion County state's attorney.
Due to redistricting, all 27 seats on the county board will be up for election next year, and 21 candidates filed on Monday. There are three seats in each of the county's nine districts, and the board now has 14 Democrats and 13 Republicans.
As of late Monday afternoon, no one had filed yet for seats in District 1 and District 4. And only one each had filed in District 7, Republican and incumbent Craig Golden, and in District 8, longtime incumbent and Democrat Ivadale Foster.
But multiple candidates filed in Districts 2, 3, 5, 6, and 9.
— In District 2, three Republicans filed: newcomer Charles D. Mockbee III, incumbent Kevin Green and Mike Marron, who was appointed to the board in August to replace John Alexander, who moved out of District 2 and into District 6. After his move, Alexander was appointed to the seat in District 6 that was left vacant when board member and Republican Russ Pollitt died earlier this year.
— In District 3, four Republicans filed on Monday. They are newcomers Charles D. Nesbitt, Mary J. Morrison and William D. Stone and incumbent Steven W. Fourez.
— In District 5, four Democrats and one Republican filed. The Democrats are John Criswell, who's currently on the board, and incumbents Orick Nightlinger, Terry Wilkus and Robert Watson. And newcomer Bill Wright, a Republican, also filed in District 5.
— In District 6, Republican incumbent Fox filed along with Republican Alexander, who will run for the seat to which he was appointed earlier this year. And newcomer Miller, a Republican who lost a narrow bid for county clerk to Lynn Foster last year, filed in District 6 along with Puhr, a Democrat and current Danville alderman.
— And in District 9, the three incumbents filed: Democrats Larry Davis, Bruce Stark and Jim McMahon, who's the county board chairman.