WASHINGTON — There are contested races for alderman in all four of the city's wards. That hasn't happened since at least 1966, according to city and Tazewell County Clerk records.
Eight candidates for alderman will be on the ballot April 2, two in each ward. Two of the four incumbents are running for re-election. This is Washington's first non-partisan city election since voters decided March 20 to switch from partisan to non-partisan elections. The partisan election system had been in place since 1906.
Incumbent Carol Moss is facing Todd Yoder in Ward 2. Incumbent Dave Dingledine is facing Brielle Meinders in Ward 3.
Moss, a former Washington city clerk, was appointed to the city council Nov. 1, 2010, and first elected in 2011. Dingledine was first elected in 2003.
Incumbents Bob Brucks in Ward 1 and Jim Gee in Ward 4 are not running for re-election. Each was first elected in 2003 after being appointed to the city council the previous year. Brucks was appointed Sept. 23, 2002, and Gee was appointed Dec. 2, 2002.
Joseph Roberts and Lilija Stevens are running for Brucks' spot in Ward 1. Randall Black and Aaron Boyles are competing for Gee's spot in Ward 4.
Roberts is a member of the Washington Planning and Zoning Commission. Stevens led a petition drive that placed the non-partisan election question on the ballot. Twenty Washington residents gathered 698 signatures, 280 more than required, during a 10-day period in December 2017.
All nine city council members — Mayor Gary Manier and the eight aldermen, two in each ward — are Republicans. No Democrat has been elected to the council in decades and no Democrat has been on the city ballot in about a dozen years, according to the Tazewell clerk's office.
Washington's city clerk and city treasurer also were elected on a partisan basis. Those currently in those positions — Pat Brown and Ellen Dingledine — are Republicans. Their positions are not on the April 2 ballot.
Each city council seat, and the city clerk and city treasurer jobs are for a four-year term.
Steve Stein can be reached at (248) 224-2616 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.