NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — School board races are heating up in Bloomington-Normal after the first day to file.

In total, 28 candidates filed to run between the eight school districts within McLean County. 7 of the candidates filed to run in McLean County Unit 5.

Two incumbents, Amy Roser and Kelly Pyle have filed for a second full term on the board after being appointed in 2018 then winning election in 2019.

Five newcomers, Brad Wurth, Dennis Frank, Alex Williams, Amee Jada and Steve Mackowiak all filed to take one of the four seats as well. WMBD spoke with Williams Tuesday evening.

Williams has lived in Normal since 1996 and has had three kids attend many schools within the district. He has also volunteered on the Parent Teacher Advisory Council where he said he got a better understanding of challenges facing the district, particularly the district’s budget deficit and teacher shortages.

“Should I be elected, my goal is to continue to understand the financial impact of what the district is offering, what the community is worth and collaborate to find a solution that long-term just like my kids were fortunate to be part of this great district, the students that are coming behind them will continue to benefit from what Unit 5 is offering,” Williams said.

Current school board president Barry Hitchins has yet to file his petitions and is undecided if he will run for reelection. He said it is not surprising to see a heavy interest in the four seats.

“In the past we’ve had multiple board openings and there tends to be a lot of activity the first day or two of the filing period. We have four seats open in the next board election so it’s good to see a variety of candidates,” Hitchins said.

Hitchins said it is undecided if the board will try for another referendum in the April election.

Candidates have until Monday Dec 19th to file.