URBANA — Minutes after he was elected chair of the Republican caucus of the Champaign County Board, John Jay lost another ally.
Six-year board member Brad Jones of Champaign told his Republican colleagues Thursday night that he is leaving the county board to take a job as a bank inspector with the federal comptroller of the currency.
His resignation took effect following Thursday's county board meeting.
Jones, who was an unsuccessful candidate for county auditor in 2008, said he would not have the time to devote to his new job and his county board duties. He had already decided against running for reelection this fall.
Jones is the second loss from the board's GOP caucus in the last six days. Alan Nudo, who also represents District 3, announced his resignation last Saturday. There are 12 Republicans on the 27-member board.
"That's kind of like trying to drive a car with two flat tires," said Jay, who was elected Thursday night to replace Nudo as chair of the Republican caucus. Jay was unopposed.
"It speaks well of your new caucus chair that he's been in office for five minutes and we've already lost somebody," he joked.
Sadorus Republican Jon Schroeder said he and Jay met with Nudo Wednesday and tried to dissuade him from leaving the board.
"We looked at Al and grinned and he looked at us and said, 'There ain't no way. I made up my mind and there ain't no way,'" he recalled. "We tried to get him to change his mind without any physical or bodily harm."
Seven elected precinct committeemen in District 3, including County Clerk Gordy Hulten, will have to choose replacements for Nudo and Jones on the board. That process is expected to take place in February. The two replacements will serve until early December.
One Republican candidate for the county board who lives in District 3, Jeff Kibler, said Thursday night that he hopes to fill one of the two vacancies.