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June 25, 2018

6/13/2018 12:39:00 PM
Infrastructure an issue for county-board candidate
A Democrat seeking to give a voice to rural residents is seeking a seat on the Crawford County Board.

Recently, both the Republican and Democrat parties nominated candidates for the District 3 seat now filled by Gareld Bilyew. Bilyew is not seeking re-election in November and no other candidates ran in primaries.

The Democrats have selected Olga Abella, rural Oblong, to run, while Jon Goff, Oblong, has been nominated by the Republicans.

Abella, an English professor at Eastern Illinois University for 30 years, has lived between Oblong and Robinson for 15 years. "No one was running and I thought we weren't being represented," she explained.

Her neighbors have issues with infrastructure in their part of the county and she hopes to bring these concerns to the board. For example, she said insurance rates are higher in her part of the county because of a lack of fire hydrants. Also, roads are uneven and bumpy and a lack of broadband Internet service makes it difficult for residents to do business from their homes.

"This affects a lot of people," she said. "They need a representative on the board to hear some of these voices."

Abella will face off against Goff in the Nov. 6 general election. Theirs is the only contested race for the board.

Board, candidates include Kevin Morrison, who is seeking a two-year term in District 1, and Clint Williamson, who is running for a full four-year term in District 1. Both are incumbent Republicans.

Other candidates are Kip Randolph, District 2; Koert Bartman, District 4; and Don Goupil District 5. Randolph is an incumbent; all three are Republicans.

County Clerk Fayrene Wright and Treasurer Twyla Bailey, both GOP incumbents, are unopposed, as is Democrat incumbent Regional Superintendent of Schools Monte Newlin.

The only other local race in November is for sheriff. Republican incumbent William Rutan will face Democrat Floyd Brinkman Jr.

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