Tari Renner wins Bloomington mayoral race by 1,500 votes

2013-04-09T23:45:00Z 2013-04-13T20:17:17Z Tari Renner wins Bloomington mayoral race by 1,500 votesBy Rachel Wells
April 09, 2013 11:45 pm  • 

BLOOMINGTON — Tari Renner, the runner-up in the 2009 election, will be sworn in May 1 as Bloomington’s new mayor, beating challenges from John Hanson and Lex Green.

Renner garnered 5,003 votes, or about 51 percent, in Tuesday’s consolidated election.

Hanson received 3,466 votes and Green got 1,246 votes, or about 36 percent and 13 percent of the vote, respectively.

“I think it’s really clear that voters in the city of Bloomington said we want proactive leadership in our mayor,” Renner said after a victory speech in front of supporters at Rosie’s Pub in downtown Bloomington.

He said the vote shows an “unequivocal” citizen desire for the mayor to be a “policymaker” — a point Renner and Hanson debated throughout the campaign.

He said he plans to make good on his promise to hold mayoral open houses every Friday before City Council meetings, starting with his first meeting in May.

As the new mayor, Renner will begin his term with a new council facing several high-profile issues, including how to deal with $114 million in pension debt, a $60 million backlog in road repairs and several other infrastructure needs.

All three candidates came with noteworthy political backgrounds to a nonpartisan council.

Renner, 54, is a political science professor at Illinois Wesleyan University and lost the 2009 mayoral race by 15 votes to outgoing Mayor Steve Stockton, who did not seek a third term.

Renner served as a Democrat on the McLean County Board from 1998 to 2010. In the 1980s, Renner was a director of research for the International City/County Management Association.

Hanson, 54, is co-owner of Hanson’s Cleaners and was an alderman in Ward 8 from 2006 to 2011. A self-described “conservative” with a solid Republican voting record, Hanson also served on the Bloomington District 87 school board.

Green, 59, is a maintenance associate at Mitsubishi Motors North America and has been active in the local Libertarian Party since it began more than five years ago. He ran unsuccessfully as Libertarian candidate for governor in 2010.

The mayor is paid $12,000 annually.

Copyright 2015 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(30) Comments

  1. C5IL
    Report Abuse
    C5IL - April 11, 2013 6:47 am
    Sure, YaitsMe - is that what you did with your vote, cast it for him "BEFORE judging him?"

    Sounds like "We have to pass the bill before we can see what's in the bill" speak to me.
  2. freemarketcapitalist
    Report Abuse
    freemarketcapitalist - April 10, 2013 11:56 pm
    Good luck Bloomington residents and hold on to your wallets. You now have a liberal progressive community organizer for mayor--just like the one at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.--and they're even friends, imagine that. No coincidence for those of us who were paying attention. Keep him accountable. Make sure the infrastructure is repaired. Make sure spending goes down and taxes do not go up. Make sure private enterprise builds the hotel and not the tax payers of Bloomington. Good luck with that.
  3. Chadwick Snow
    Report Abuse
    Chadwick Snow - April 10, 2013 3:57 pm
    Pensions are guaranteed under the Illinois Constitution The mayor has little control over what the city pays. That's the job of the state legislature and it will require a statutory remedy that must pass Constitutional muster.
  4. earlyriser54
    Report Abuse
    earlyriser54 - April 10, 2013 3:41 pm
    An INDEPENDENT WHAT Every post you have ever made in this forum has been as far left as Karl Marx. Could it be you are not telling the truth or you have an identity crisis? Either one is a safe bet.
  5. earlyriser54
    Report Abuse
    earlyriser54 - April 10, 2013 3:40 pm
    You nailed it Gump, well said.
  6. YaitsMe
    Report Abuse
    YaitsMe - April 10, 2013 1:27 pm
    Ummm, Have you even TALKED to Mr. Renner? Sure don't sound like it. He did say that one of his main concerns is our crumbling infrastructure. Maybe you can set aside your politics for a bit and try getting to know the new mayor BEFORE judging him...
  7. TwentyTwo
    Report Abuse
    TwentyTwo - April 10, 2013 12:49 pm
    Ok, so Mr. Renner, you're said to be holding "open doors" every friday before a council meeting from 2-4 p.m. (for transparency purpose) ...This will be REAL interesting how long this lasts....!!
  8. Choose Your Words Wisely
    Report Abuse
    Choose Your Words Wisely - April 10, 2013 11:05 am
    Let's hope Renner is a man of his word !
  9. dancinggirl
    Report Abuse
    dancinggirl - April 10, 2013 10:21 am
    Congrats Mayor Renner. I consider myself to be an Independent and while I'm sure the other two candidates are fine men, the voters made the intelligent choice
  10. jms2k
    Report Abuse
    jms2k - April 10, 2013 10:15 am
    This might come as a shock to you, but there are military members serving over seas at this very moment who are in fact "liberals."
  11. motherof4
    Report Abuse
    motherof4 - April 10, 2013 9:21 am
    He is wearing a tuxedo. get a clue. I am so proud that Tari won this race. The thought of our city having to suffer under a Hanson administration and the damage it would have done to our children and the future is unimaginable. The voters made the best choice in electing Renner.
  12. jms2k
    Report Abuse
    jms2k - April 10, 2013 9:14 am
    You're obviously not a fan of the 11th Doctor.
  13. jms2k
    Report Abuse
    jms2k - April 10, 2013 9:13 am
    I can't tell if you're joking, or just ignorant as to how a tuxedo works. The shirt sleeves are supposed to be longer than the jacket. Also, anyone who has tied a real bow-tie can attest, they don't stay straight. Only the clip-ons do that.
  14. Forest Gump
    Report Abuse
    Forest Gump - April 10, 2013 8:49 am
    I don’t see how electing a liberal Democrat, community organizer will be good step towards getting the finances of the city of Bloomington on a more solid footing. It’s been an abysmal failure in DC. We can expect to see the new mayor pushing for approval of spending on discretionary projects like more new parks, bicycle paths and providing more entertainment options for residents while our streets continue to crumble and the pension system slides further in debt. Another election and four more years of the status quo at Bloomington City Hall.
  15. Voice of Bloomington
    Report Abuse
    Voice of Bloomington - April 10, 2013 8:12 am
    The scariest thing about Renner is that he wants a hotel built downtown near the Coliseum. Obviously, if this was a good business proposition, someone would have done it already. My fear is that after taking the majority of his campaign funds from labor unions, he will feel obligated to push to have the city build a hotel in order to provide the jobs to unions similar to his mentor Judy Markowitz. Luckily, Matetjka and the other union leaders are no longer on the city council so this would be a tougher sell. To be fair, I think Mike Matejtka is a very honorable guy and he works hard for his union members, but to insist on a 'fair working wage' for Colisium workers before it ever opened shows that he was more interested in providing jobs to his constituents and not about whether the Colisium was a good investment for the residents of Bloomington although I'm sure the residents of Normal and outside communities enjoy it who don't have to pay the $2 million per year mortgage.
  16. C5IL
    Report Abuse
    C5IL - April 10, 2013 7:31 am
    Jose, thanks for the clever flywheel analogy.

    The problem isn't "lack of adequate financing." The problem is uncontrolled and now nearly uncontrollable spending. Public pensions wildly out of proportion to what is available in the private sector and are killing our town's and our state's budgets. They must be reigned in and brought into alignment with the market. They got this way because of union pressures on public officials who wanted to retain their jobs. We're now pushed to the financial cliff and our day reckoning is finally here.

    To address these problems, we don't need more public officials answering these problems with higher and higher taxes.

    We need public officials who will hold themselves accountable for bringing spending down, not for taking even more money away from us, under threat of imprisonment, in order to spend our money on things that will make them look good and charitable.
  17. earlyriser54
    Report Abuse
    earlyriser54 - April 10, 2013 7:28 am
    Spoken like a true military dodging, welfare recipeint, no skin in the game progressive liberal. Of course it it obvious why tax increases are so near and dear to YOU. the government raising taxes represents an income hike. You said it all when you said, "if not from taxes where does it come from?" Try going out and EARNING some money for once in your life. EARNINGS come from LABOR from the private secotr, the GOVERNMENT MERELY STEALS what they get.
  18. MidWestMike
    Report Abuse
    MidWestMike - April 10, 2013 7:07 am
    Never trust a guy that wears bow tie
  19. Jose
    Report Abuse
    Jose - April 10, 2013 7:02 am
    Your sweeping generalization ignores the fact certain problems are caused by LACK of funds and can be solved by adequate financing.

    If not from taxes, where does the money come from? A magic money tree? Shooting out of your unicorn's butt? The wealthy??

    To get a flywheel going, torque needs to be applied. Reducing all torque input to little or nothing is not a recipe for getting the flywheel moving. It's a recipe for dragging all function to a grinding halt.
  20. Jose
    Report Abuse
    Jose - April 10, 2013 6:39 am
    Congratulations, Mr. Renner. Looking forward to significant changes in our town and the open houses.
  21. C5IL
    Report Abuse
    C5IL - April 10, 2013 6:18 am
    Oh boy . . . to quote Clint Eastwood . . . "Left turn, Clyde."

    No worries. Every problem can be solved with higher taxes.
  22. justnotrite
    Report Abuse
    justnotrite - April 10, 2013 5:51 am
    Pretty sad turn out for voters. Only 10,000 came out to vote?
  23. earlyriser54
    Report Abuse
    earlyriser54 - April 10, 2013 4:44 am
    Well since YOU KNEW Hansen did not have a chance and YOU COULD JUST TELL he wasn't going to win I guess 10.000 voters just wasted their time by exercising their right to vote for their chosen candidate. How silly of them.
  24. JCJanko
    Report Abuse
    JCJanko - April 10, 2013 1:11 am
    Yes, because anyone who disagrees with you is clearly berry stoopid, right? Grow up.

    And congrats to Mayor-elect Renner.
  25. middlefinger
    Report Abuse
    middlefinger - April 09, 2013 11:25 pm
    I KNEW Hanson wasn't going to make it. Sometime you can just look at a guy and tell 'that guy isn't going to make it'. Hanson was clearly 'that guy' in this race.
  26. Swildwood
    Report Abuse
    Swildwood - April 09, 2013 11:07 pm
    Congratulations to Mayor Renner. He was clearly the intelligent voter's choice.
  27. thoughts a million
    Report Abuse
    thoughts a million - April 09, 2013 10:38 pm
    The scary part is that Hanson got as many votes as he did. Every quote from him over the past month was that of a Follower, not a Leader. What did people see in him?
  28. mrr
    Report Abuse
    mrr - April 09, 2013 10:31 pm
    May the new mayor and council keep in mind that 49% of the voters voted for another candidate for mayor. Let's work toward common solutions. Mister Mayor elect may you hire a fashion consultant with your additional $12K income. Balanced budgets, infrastructure improvements, enhanced quality of life and few if any tax increases are possible - look at Normal.
  29. BN reader
    Report Abuse
    BN reader - April 09, 2013 9:20 pm
    Congratulations Mayor Renner. You are the man for the job.
  30. workhardplayhard
    Report Abuse
    workhardplayhard - April 09, 2013 9:19 pm
    Congrates Mayor Renner. Remember,the best way to keep the job is to do the things that you promised.
Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick