Here’s who’s running for city council across the Illinois Valley

4 contested mayoral races emerge

"I Voted" stickers alline on top of a voting machine at the Ladd Community Center on Tuesday April 6, 2021.

Ottawa and Oglesby both will have contested mayoral races come April, and both races will have three candidates.

Leonard S. Newell joined the Ottawa mayoral race, filing paperwork to join Mayor Dan Aussem and Robert Hasty on the April 4 ballot.

With Oglesby Mayor Dom Rivara announcing he would not seek a second term, former mayor Don Finley and Commissioners Jason Curran and Jim Cullinan filed petitions to succeed him.

As the candidate filing period concluded Monday, Streator and Princeton will join Ottawa and Oglesby with contested mayoral races. Streator Mayor Tara Bedei will be contested by Councilman Brian Crouch to keep her seat and Princeton Mayor Joel Quiram will be challenged by Ray Mabry.

Marseilles Mayor Jim Hollenbeck and Seneca Mayor Jeff Olson don’t have a challenger as of Monday afternoon.

Voters will take the polls again in April for the municipal election.

La Salle

The aldermanic races in La Salle for first, second and fourth ward each will feature a newcomer and an incumbent. In the third ward, the race is uncontested.

Incumbent Bob Thompson is running against newcomer Gary Hammers for First Ward alderman. In the Second Ward, incumbent Jerry Reynolds is running against newcomer Amy Luth.

Third Ward incumbent Joe Jeppson is running unopposed and Fourth Ward incumbent Jordan Crane is running against newcomer James Cleary.


Three candidates filed to get on the April ballot for Ladd Village Board. Incumbent trustee Janis “Jan” Martin, along with newcomers Bradley K. Nicholson and Andrew Ruggerio filed for their candidacy. The other two trustee seats up for election are held by Jim Manning and Mike Urbanowski.


As of 2 p.m. Monday, no other candidate had filed to oppose Mayor Jim Hollenbeck for his seat in the April election.

Seven candidates, however, had filed for four open commissioner seats. Incumbents Jim Buckingham and Gary Lewey filed to be on the ballot, along with newcomers Brad Miller, Jim Hanlon, Melissa Small, Mike Scheib and Ed Cavanaugh. Commissioners Bobby Kaminksi and Nate Schaefer had not filed for re-election as of Monday afternoon.


The incumbents filed for the four aldermanic seats up for election in Mendota, one in each of the first four wards. The seats are held by John Hessenberger, First Ward; John Holland, Second Ward; Jay Miller, Third Ward; and Mark Peasley, Fourth Ward.

The remaining two years on the treasurer’s term will be decided in April’s election. Heath Davis holds the post, but had not filed to keep the seat as of 2 p.m. Monday.


Oglesby voters will settle a contested race for mayor. Former Mayor Don Finley and incumbent commissioners Jason Curran and Jim Cullinan all filed petitions for mayor. Incumbent Dom Rivara announced recently he would not seek a second term.

There are four vacant seats on the council and four candidates who have filed. They are incumbent commissioners Tom Argubright and Terry Eutis and newcomers Greg McDermott, Tony Stefanelli and Rich Baldridge.


A third mayoral candidate emerged in the Ottawa council race. Leonard S. Newell will challenge Mayor Daniel Aussem and Robert Hasty in April.

With all four commissioner seats open for election, incumbents Marla Pearson, Thomas Ganiere, Wayne Eichelkraut Jr. and James Less are running. They will be joined in the race by Frank Miller, Clayton Brown, Matt Skelly, Dylan Conmy, Josh A. Moore, Katie Troccoli and Brent Barron.


Peru voters will decide which new faces will be in City Hall, with five newcomers and four incumbents running for aldermanic seats.

Incumbent Jeff Ballard and newcomers Crystal Piwonski Loughran and Heidi Heuser are running for First Ward alderman. In the Second Ward, incumbent Tom Payton is running against newcomer Andy Arnold.

Incumbent Dave Waldorf will run against newcomer Rick O’Sadnick in the Third Ward, and in the Fourth Ward are newcomers Andy Moreno and Alexandra West. Fourth ward incumbent Aaron Buffo is not running for re-election.


Princeton voters will decide in April if Mayor Joel Quiram will be elected to a third term or if challenger Ray Mabry will take over the post.

For the city’s two open council seats, incumbents Jerry Neumann and Hector Gomez both have filed for reelection and will be running for office unopposed.


Seneca Mayor Jeff Olson filed for reelection, joining six others who wish to put their names on the April ballot for four open commissioner positions.

Incumbents Kent Weber, David Higgins and Mark Victor filed for candidacy, as well as Scott Peddicord, Celia Rademacher and Joe Jankowski. Kevin Wood had not filed to keep his seat as of Monday afternoon.


Tom Wehner has filed to run for Sheridan village president, after being appointed recently to the post. The term will be two years.

Of three open trustee positions, Judy Hinterlong, Pam Carlson and Marlene Woodward each filed for the four-year posts. Seats held by Peggy Arneson and Jamie Skalic are on the ballot this spring. Additionally, the seat vacated by Wehner is up for election.

Spring Valley

Incumbents in each of the four Spring Valley council races have filed for reelection. Ed Jauch filed in the First Ward; Jennifer Diaz in the Second Ward; Deb Baltikauski in the Third Ward; and Ken Bogacz in the Fourth Ward. CJ VanSchaick filed to challenge Jauch in the First Ward and Jeff Chiaventone filed to challenge Diaz in the Second Ward.


A mayoral race and four of five City Council seats will be up for grabs April 4. Streator’s candidate filing period was in November.

Mayor Tara Bedei, who was appointed mayor in January to succeed Jimmie Lansford, is seeking a full term. Councilman Brian Crouch, who has been on the council for nine years, will challenge Bedei for the mayor’s seat.

Incumbents Timothy Geary and Jacob Darby filed to run for two open four-year seats on the council, along with David Reed and Anthony Hartley. Geary was appointed to the council in September 2021 to succeed Joe Scarbeary, who resigned to accept a full-time position as the city’s building inspector. Darby was appointed to take Bedei’s seat when she was appointed mayor.


So far, there are no contested races in Utica.

Though three seats are open on the Utica Village Board, only the three incumbent trustees have filed for the April election. They are John Schweickert, Nate Holland and Kylie Mattioda.

"I Voted" stickers are placed on a voting machine at the Ladd Community Center on Tuesday April 6, 2021.