A challenge in Ward 5 and a dropout in Ward 7 could impact the outcome of the spring election. (WJBC file photo)
By Zach Dietmeier
BLOOMINGTON - The Bloomington Election Commission will hear a filing challenge in the Bloomington City Council Ward 5 race.
Matthew Koetters is questioning the nomination petitions of Alderwoman Jennifer McDade, according to Election Commission executive director Paul Shannon.
"He's basing the challenge on three different accusations," said Shannon. "She used the wrong date for the election. She filed it as Apr. 9 when it needed to be filed for Feb. 26. People also abbreviated the word Bloomington instead of writing it out, and they also used ditto marks in places instead of writing out the word."
Both McDade and Koetters will have to make their claims before a special Municipal Officers Electoral Board meeting on Dec. 10.
"They're hearing Mr. Koetters' objections and listening to Ms. McDade's arguments as to whether her petition is valid," said Shannon. "They'll make the decision as to if Mr. Koetters' allegations are enough to keep her petition from being valid."
Meanwhile, a Ward 7 candidate for the Bloomington City Council is pulling out of contention. Don Frank is withdrawing from the race because he no longer lives in Ward 7. The April election will include newly redrawn wards in Bloomington.
"The wards have to be fairly close in size and every so often if they start getting out of whack they have to be redistricted to keep a general balance in the population," said Shannon.
Frank now lives in Ward 4 due to the restructuring. Three candidates still remain in the Ward 7 race: Ryan Fiala, who challenged Frank's standing, Scott Black, and Bernie Uszcienski.
Shannon said this upcoming election cycle is the first under newly redrawn ward boundaries for the City of Bloomington.
"The new wards become effective with this current election in April," said Shannon. "When they are seated in April, they'll be representing the new wards."
The Municipal Officers Electoral Board will meet in the McLean County Government Center building on East Washington Street.