Peoria primary elections expecting high turnout, mayor and city council seats up for grabs

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The Peoria elections race is shaping up to be a hot one.

Thomas Bride, executive director of the Peoria County Election Commission, said early turnout has been very strong, and he is expecting the same on primary election day.

“We have a large number of competitive races…the mayor’s race and four of the city council races are competitive. I think there are resources being spent on those election campaigns and that helps turnout,” he said. There are Democratic and nonpartisan ballots.

There are five candidates for mayor, including Jim Montelongo, Andy Diaz, Chama St. Louis, Rita Ali, and Sid Ruckriegel. Ruckriegel was endorsed by current mayor Jim Ardis, who is not seeking reelection.

Bride said 4,000 people voted early, compared to 2019, when there were only 1,000 early voters.

“The nice thing about this election is we’re so close to the presidential election where we had a record turnout, and we haven’t done any changes, so it’s easier for the voters, they just go back to where they voted on Election Day,” he added.

As for Tazewell County and Bloomington races, they are not expected to be busy and for less competitive seats.

In Bloomington, there is a consolidated primary race for Ward 7 only, with 57 early votes cast.

In Tazewell County, Washington Township is holding a Republican primary for three positions: township clerk, township assessor, and township trustee.

“Its really a small section of Tazewell County, a very limited set of people that can come vote. Anybody’s who’s a registered voter living in Washington Township, can vote at 5 Points in Washington,” said Tazewell County Clerk John Ackerman. He said 130 early votes were cast for that primary election.

The general election is April 6.

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