Mayor Ardis says he won’t seek re-election

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An earlier version of this story contained incorrect information about the name of the high school Ardis graduated from. The actual name is the Academy of Our Lady/Spalding Institute. The story has been corrected. We apologize for the error.

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — On Wednesday, Mayor Jim Ardis says he will not run for re-election as the 2020 mayoral election heads underway.

Ardis made the announcement at the City Council Chambers around 11 a.m. Wednesday morning.

He said the pandemic did not impact his decision, adding it was a collective decision made by his family.

Ardis has been mayor of Peoria since 2005 when he defeated incumbent Dave Ransburg. Since then, he has served four consecutive terms as mayor. Before that, he was elected to the city council in 1999 as a councilman at-large. In 2003, he was re-elected for a second term.

Ardis is a lifelong Peorian, and his family has served the Peoria community for generations. At age 10, his father, Jim Ardis Jr., became a Peoria city councilman. His grandfather, John Bulger, had was a Peoria County clerk.

He graduated from Spalding Institute in 1977 before graduating from Illinois State University in 1982 with a B.S. in Industrial Technology.

His community activities include participating in the Memphis to Peoria Run for St. Jude. Ardis marked his 25th consecutive year on the 465-mile trek from Memphis in 2019. He also serves on the Board of the St. Jude Midwest Affiliate as well as being the past Board President of the Tim Ardis Foundation for Hope and the Founder and Chairman of the Board for the Peoria Promise.

Ardis’ current term ends on Sunday, May 2, 2021. He said he has no desire to run for a higher political officer. After his term he will continue working with OSF HealthCare as the strategic philantrophy officer.

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