Voters pick candidates for Urbana City Council

By Nate Sandstrom

Lynne Barnes, Brandon Bowersox and incumbent Dennis Roberts all secured victories in Tuesday’s Democratic primary for the Urbana City Council.

Roberts won the closest battle of the night, defeating challenger Ricky Baldwin in the Ward 5 primary 284-276.

Roberts, who was appointed alderman last fall, advances to face Republican Louis Mesker in the April 5 general election.

Baldwin and Roberts both described the race as positive and friendly.

“There was no loser in this race,” both candidates said.

Roberts said if he wins in April he looks forward to working with the new council members. He had campaigned on preserving the family housing characteristic of his neighborhood, but said he was sure many more diverse areas will come before the council over the next four years.

Baldwin said he did not regret running and planned to use the base he created campaigning for social activism events in the future.

“We did a good job and raised a lot of important issues,” he said.

Baldwin said both he and Roberts had mutual friends who were having difficulties deciding who to vote for.

Brandon Bowersox, who secured the victory in Ward 4, will advance to face Republican Anna Marie Scott in April.

Bowersox said he planned to continue his strategy of discussing important issues such as sustainable growth and the environment. He said he was optimistic his strategy would help him win the general election as well.

He was able to overcome charges during the final week of the election that he had not lived in his ward long enough to be eligible to be an alderman.

Bowersox graduated from the University in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics.

No Republican is challenging Barnes in Ward 7 for the general election, so she will likely become the ward’s next alderwoman.

Barnes is vice president of clinical operations at Carle Foundation Hospital.