WATSEKA — The Iroquois County Board will have a new look following the 2012 election, as nine incumbents did not file for re-election by the close of the filing period Monday afternoon.
Among those not seeking re-election was Chairman Ron Schroeder of rural St. Anne, who has served 24 years on the board and 10 as chairman.
"I've been here long enough," Schroeder, 68, told the Paxton Record on Monday night. "I've seen a lot of changes, and people are thinking different (than me) now, and I'm not on the same wavelength of some of the young guys coming on, so it's time to put me out to pasture and enjoy the rest of my life."
Eight newcomers and 15 incumbents are vying for 20 available seats on the board in the March 2012 Republican primary election. Contested races are set in three of the county's four newly remapped voting districts. Each district will elect five board members, as the board is being reduced from five districts to four and 25 members to 20 starting next year.
The only district without a contested race is District 1, which represents the northern third of the county. Five candidates filed in District 1: newcomer Lyle Behrends of rural Ashkum, incumbent Kyle Anderson of rural Beaverville, incumbent Dale Schultz of Clifton, incumbent Kevin Hansen of rural Clifton and newcomer Larry Bauer of Clifton.
In District 2, which represents an area on the west side of the county spanning from Loda to Danforth, filing were: newcomer John Shure of rural Buckley, incumbent Bret Schmid of Gilman, incumbent Ernest Curtis of Gilman, newcomer Pete Offill of Gilman, incumbent Gerald "Jed" Whitlow of Gilman and incumbent Rod Copas of rural Onarga.
A lottery will be held Thursday to determine the ballot positions of Shure and Schmid, who were the first to file petitions in District 2 and did so at the same time. The lottery will also determine ballot position for four candidates in District 3 and three in District 4.
In District 3 — which represents an area spanning from Cissna Park and Milford to Crescent City and Sheldon — filing were: incumbent Charles Alt of Cissna Park, newcomer Marvin Stichnoth of rural Milford, newcomer Donna Crow of Milford, incumbent Jean Hiles of rural Watseka, incumbent Osborne Storm of rural Ashkum and incumbent Troy Krumwiede of rural Watseka. Alt, Hiles, Stichnoth and Crow will be in the lottery.
In District 4 — which represents Watseka and three townships around that city — filing were: newcomer Daniel J. Joyce of rural Watseka, incumbent Donna L. Wasmer of Watseka, newcomer Scott Watts of rural Watseka, incumbent Susan Wynn Bence of Watseka, incumbent Adam Zumwalt of rural Sheldon and incumbent Russell Bills of Watseka. In the lottery will be Wasmer, Joyce and Watts.
Besides Schroeder, other incumbents who did not file petitions by the deadline were: Merle Lemenager of rural Clifton, James Meyer of rural Chebanse, David Hubert of rural Martinton, Dan Pursley of Lake Iroquois, Jim Hurt of rural Wellington, James McCray of rural Claytonville, John Wilkening of rural Cissna Park and Don Deany of Watseka.
Half of the people elected to the board will serve two-year terms, while the others will serve four-year terms, starting Dec. 1, 2012. The duration of their terms will be decided through a random drawing after the election.
Also up for election are the circuit clerk, coroner and state's attorney. The only candidates filing for those seats were: Lisa Hines of Cissna Park, for re-election as circuit clerk; Jim Devine of Watseka, for re-election as state's attorney; and Bill Cheatum of Watseka, for re-election as coroner.