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Change150 Articulates Plan to Elect Ghost Candidate

The candidate the group supports is dropping out of the race. Why it will support her anyway.
PEORIA – Change150 is asking voters to support a candidate who says she's dropping out.

The group formally announced its support for District 150 School Board candidate, Sue Wolstenholm at a press conference Tuesday.

"We're asking you to vote for someone who's not going to serve. We're asking you to trust an organization to say, but we'll come out with some candidates," said Change150 spokesman, Sea Stipe.

Change 150 is officially standing behind District 150 school board candidate Wolstenholm, who already announced she's dropping out of the race, but doesn't plan to file the official paperwork. That means her votes will still be counted and she could still win. Stipe said Wolstenholm would then quit so the board would have to appoint someone else.

"We are using the parliamentary process and the election process to make our voice heard, would we prefer that sue was going to serve and that we could get behind sue and we knew what candidate we were supporting? Absolutely, unfortunately that's not the situation we find ourselves in," he said.

Change 150 is pulling together a list of candidates it approves of. Leaders hope the school board chooses someone from that list to fill the seat.

"We believe the board will recognize that the community has spoken and we expect them to do the right thing," Stipe said.

The school board could also appoint Wolstenholm's opponent, incumbent Laura Petelle, even if she loses the election by a landslide.

"If Laura wins then in some ways the community will have spoken. We hope that the message that Laura will get is that we're concerned and we would hope that she would embrace some of the things that we could like to see happen," Stipe said.

Petelle said it's frustrating for someone who doesn't want the job to be asking for votes. She said it's unfair that she can't debate or even speak to her opponent. Petelle claims she is the transparent candidate Change150 says it's looking for.

"We've brought vocational education back to Peoria we've increased graduation requirements, we've done a lot to move the district forward and to bring positive change to the district and that's what I would like to continue to do and I'm the only candidate who's willing to stand up and talk to the community about it."

The first step is up to voters. Early voting started Monday and election day is March 18th.
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