URBANA – Just three Democrats will run for mayor of Urbana in the upcoming consolidated primary election. The city’s Electoral Board formally voted Wednesday to remove a fourth candidate from the ballot, former basketball player, Verdell Jones III.
Urbana City Clerk Phyllis Clark says the strongest point in the objection filed against Jones’ ballot petitions is that he has not lived in the city continuously for at least a year, as state election law requires.
With Jones removed, the February 23rd Democratic primary ballot in Urbana will list Alderman Dennis Roberts, University of Illinois student Andy Ma and incumbent mayor Diane Marlin as the mayoral candidates.
No Republicans have filed to run for mayor in the primary. But Republicans could file petitions to run a candidate in the consolidated election April 6th. The filing period for candidates to submit petitions for that election is December 14-21.
Urbana City Council Candidates
Also Wednesday, the Electoral Board formally overruled a challenge to petitions filed by city council candidate Meghan McDonald. She is running for the Democratic nomination for the Ward 5 seat held by mayoral candidate Roberts. The complainant said McDonald failed to identify her ward on every page of the petition. But Clark said board members decided that the petitions were valid, as McDonald seemed to be sufficiently well known in the area, and that her petitions included only a handful of signatures from outside her ward.
McDonald is running for the city council against Chaundra Bishop, who ran unsuccessfully for coroner in November.
In other wards, there will be contested Democratic primaries for Urbana City Council, in all but Ward Six.
The candidates who have filed to run for Urbana City Council seats are as follows:
Ward One: Jake Fava and incumbent Maryalice Wu. (Also, Adam Rusch has filed to run as a Libertarian).
Ward Two: Christopher Evans, Eric Sacks and Christopher Hansen. (The seat is vacant, due to the resignation of Julie Laut; Mayor Marlin is expected to nominate an interim candidate later this month).
Ward Three: Deborah Liu and incumbent Shirese Hursey.
Ward Four: Jaya Kolisetty and Mike Kobel. (Incumbent Bill Brown is stepping down).
Ward Five: Chaundra Bishop and Meghan McDonald. (Incumbent Dennis Roberts is running for mayor).
Ward Six: Democrat Grace Wilken and Republican incumbent William Colbrook. (There will be no contested primary in this ward).
Ward Seven: James Quisenberry and incumbent Jared Miller.
Other Urbana Contests
Cunningham Township: Supervisor Danielle Cheynoweth and Assessor Wayne Williams, both Democrats, filed to run for reelection without opposition.
Urbana City Clerk: There will also be a contested Democratic primary for this race. Both Clark and Champaign County Board member Tatiana Ammons have filed to run for the nomination. Clark came out of retirement earlier this year to serve as interim clerk, following the resignation of Charles Smyth due to health reasons.
The Urbana Electoral Board for this election was made up of Clark, Ald. Maryalice Wu and Ald. Bill Colbrook. Wu and Colbrook replaced Mayor Diane Marlin and senior Alderman Dennis Roberts, who normally would have served. They stepped aside, because they would be running against Jones, one of the challenged candidates.