Four candidates vie for two spots in campus districts of Champaign Council

In Tuesday’s County elections, Champaign City Council members from districts 1-5 are up for election.

District 1 Councilwoman Gina Jackson is not running for re-election, but two other candidates are competing for her spot. District 2 councilman Michael La Due is the incumbent running for re-election against challenger Karen Rasmussen.

Ballots in Champaign County also include two referenda. If passed, the first would benefit the county’s schools and the second would benefit the Urbana Park District.

Here’s a breakdown of the candidates running for districts that include sections of Campustown.

District 1

WILLIAM KYLES

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  • Party: He is not running a partisan campaign, endorsed by Champaign County Republican Party.
  • Experience: Has worked for Congressman Tim Johnson’s Office for the past 3 years.
  • Campaign goal: Job placement for students during and after college, better recycling options, providing a voice for students on the Council, and Campustown parking meters need to be lower.”

FREDDIE GORDON

Party:Democrat

Gordon did not respond to multiple attempts for comment.

District 2

KAREN RASMUSSEN

  • Party: Independent
  • Experience: Interim director at the Greater Community AIDS Project.

    No political experience, but worked for the city of Urbana for eleven years, 8 as a grant administrator managing federal monies; also organized the local Continuum of Care for the homeless.

  • Campaign goal: “Certainly there is the economy – there will be some tough decisions to be made and I have managed budget cuts in the past when federal funds were reduced.”

MICHAEL LA DUE

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  • Party: Democrat
  • Experience: Manager of Jon’s Pipe Shop, 509 E. Green St. Precinct committeeman; city councilman for 23 years.
  • Campaign goal: “Developing and further promoting the corridor that links Research Park with downtown Champaign is vitally important and cannot be abandoned with the economic downturn. We’re trying to build a sustainable and marketable community. That has to do a lot with developing this corridor.”

Referendums:

Champaign County:

Proposition to impose County school facility occupation taxes

This referendum would increase the Champaign County sales tax by one percent. One penny out of every dollar spent in Champaign would go to school districts to be used in educational facilities.

Urbana Park District:

Proposition to increase the limiting rate

This referendum would increase the property tax rate to $.15 for every $100 in property value to fund the park district. If it does not pass, the park district will be required to cut staff and services.