BLOOMINGTON — Gerald Thompson doesn't just question whether his opponent is the right Republican to represent District 1 on the McLean County Board; he questions whether Jeremiah Houston is a Republican at all.
"If you pull voting records, you’ll find that’s not the case,” said Thompson, of Colfax. “We have enough corruption and dishonesty in politics. If you can’t be upfront about who you are, how can you be honest with the people you’re representing?”
Voting records show Houston has pulled a Republican ballot for only two of his six primary votes, going Democratic the other four times. Thompson has pulled a Republican ballot for all 10 of his primary votes.
When asked about the ballots, Houston told The Pantagraph his partisan label is less important than the service he can provide to constituents.
Houston, now president of the village of Carlock, said he hopes to promote fiscal responsibility, the McLean County Nursing Home in Normal and transparency, if chosen in the March 20 primary.
He touted his success getting flashing lights near Carlock Elementary School as the kind of commonsense change he can achieve.
Houston said he's running in part because Don Cavallini, who is retiring from the District 1 seat, voted against moving County Board meetings from 9 a.m. on the third Tuesday of each month, which Houston supports as a transparency measure.
Thompson said he opposes moving the meeting time because "it’s the best time to meet to conduct the business of the county," but he supports streaming committee meetings online. He also hopes to push preventative mental health services.
A lifelong farmer, Thompson said he's running to promote agriculture. He's served on the boards of the Illinois Farm Bureau, McLean County Farm Bureau and village of Arrowsmith.
"He wants to serve on the land use committee, and in my opinion it's only to represent farmers, and that's a disappointment because he needs to represent everybody in the district," said Houston, who works as a school bus driver for First Student, McLean County Unit 5's busing contractor.
No candidates from other parties are currently running for the seat.