CHAMPAIGN — None of the Democratic candidates for either Champaign County auditor or clerk of the circuit court has any ambitions beyond those offices, they said in a candidate forum Wednesday night.
There are three Democratic candidates in the March 20 primary election for both offices and all six appeared at a forum at the Champaign City Council chambers sponsored by the League of Women Voters and the NAACP.
"I have no plans in the future beyond this," said Kevin Sandefur of Royal, an auditor hopeful. "This is something I feel I am uniquely qualified for. This is something where I'll go in there and serve four years and then we'll see if I'm ready to serve another four."
George Danos, who frequently mentioned the county's "tradition" of Democratic auditors, including Urbana Mayor Laurel Prussing and the late Gerrie Parr, said he doesn't aspire to any other office.
"I'd be delighted to tie Laurel Prussing's record of four terms as county auditor. I too think that I have prepared all of my life for this position," said Danos, who lives in Champaign. "I bond and I bracket with the title county auditor."
And Ben Carlson, a Champaign insurance agent, said he has "no intention of trying to use this as a springboard."
Likewise, the three Urbana women running for circuit court clerk said they have no higher ambition.
"This will be my last stop," said Barbara Wysocki, a 12-year member of the county board, including a term as board chairwoman. "County government is the best government when it works, folks, no doubt about it."
Lori Hansen, currently the law librarian at the county courthouse, said: "I am not running for this office because I want to get into politics, I am getting into politics so that I can run this office. And it really would be the last stop for me. I wouldn't mind doing it for a few terms, but I certainly don't have any political aspirations beyond this office."
Evelyn Underwood, a former Urbana school board member, joked that she was looking higher.
"Move over, President Obama," she said. "No, I meant what I said. It's time for the people of good will to step up."
There is no contested Republican Party primary for either auditor or circuit clerk on March 20. John Farney is unopposed in the GOP primary for auditor, and Stephanie Holderfield is the only active Republican candidate for circuit clerk. Former state Sen. Rick Winkel is listed on the ballot but he has withdrawn his candidacy and has said he would not serve.