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URBANA — Three Democratic candidates for countywide offices announced Thursday that they are throwing their support behind the sale of the Champaign County Nursing Home.

The county board has a proposal from Altitude Health Services and Extended Care Clinical LLC, both based in Evanston, to buy the financially challenged facility for $11 million, but most Democratic board members have voiced opposition to the sale.

Darlene Kloeppel, Laurel Prussing and George Danos said they want to keep the county's financial position from getting worse and prevent a possible "shuttering of the home."

"It is important for the well-being of our community that the nursing home Medicaid beds remain available locally," said Kloeppel, a former Ernst & Young health care consultant who is running for county executive. "The best way to provide continuing quality care for residents is to sell the home to a private operator with successful management, operational and financial experience."

Prussing, a former Urbana mayor and current candidate for county treasurer, said "the best way to provide good care for residents and save the 200 jobs at the nursing home would be to sell to a private operator with a good track record in both patient care and respect for employees."

And Danos, a CPA and candidate for county auditor, said "I see the sale as win-win for all parties."

Their comments come in the wake of a presentation by executives from Altitude Health Services and Extended Care Clinical at a special county board meeting Wednesday night.