Charles Hanley won't be unopposed in his general-election bid for Tazewell County coroner, it appears.

County Democrats have slated Chuck Friend to run against Hanley, who in March won a three-way Republican primary. No Democrats ran in that election.

Friend, 67, is an East Peoria resident who was a Tazewell County Sheriff's deputy for almost 29 years before his 2002 retirement. He also is a substitute teacher who spent almost 40 years working in an East Peoria supermarket.

Friend's current primary occupation is caseworker for an organization that fulfills unmet needs for victims of the 2013 Washington tornado. He had done that until the organization ceased operations a few years ago, but recent private donations led to a revitalization, Friend said.

The long-term recovery office is handling about 15 cases currently, according to Friend.

"I've dealt with a lot of fatalities. I've dealt with families. I've always dealt with people in the Tri-County area and tried to help them in everything I've done," Friend said about his coroner's-office pursuit.

"It just kind of all falls in to place that this would be a good spot."

Friend has a degree in biology and chemistry from Eureka College. He and his wife, Lisa, have two adult children and five grandchildren.

Friend is not new to coroner's races. In 2000, he ran against incumbent Republican Robert Dubois, who won with about 60 percent of the vote.

"It is hard to beat an incumbent, and this year there is no incumbent," Friend said.

The current coroner, Brian Foley, is not running for election. His appointment to the office took place after the winner of the 2016 coroner's election, Jeff Baldi, announced he was going to resign less than halfway through his second four-year term.

Baldi's resignation and Foley's occupancy became official in March. The County Board's appointment of Foley was contingent upon him not running for the remainder of Baldi's term.

Friend said he wants the coroner's office to be more involved with the community. He cited as an example Peoria County Coroner Jamie Harwood, a fellow Democrat.

As a rule, Baldi didn't conduct inquests, but Friend said he's open to them.

"You don't want to put the family through anymore than they've already been through, but at certain times, if the evidence requires it, I think they should be done," he said.

Hanley is a funeral director from Pekin. In the GOP primary, he received 48 percent of the vote in defeating deputy coroner Scott Price, who finished second, and Pekin firefighter Steve Bresnahan.