By Chris Kaergard of the Journal Star
PEORIA – With a slim number of local, contested races in November for Peorians, Campaign 2017 is jumping off early.
Declaring himself “bullish on Peoria,” appointed Peoria City Councilman Sid Ruckriegel formally kicked off his campaign Thursday morning for the remaining two years of his at-large seat.
Ruckriegel was appointed last winter to the vacancy left when Chuck Weaver took a seat in the state Senate. Because more than two years remained in Weaver’s term, the appointment only holds through the next scheduled local election, which will be in April.
Ruckriegel came to the post with both business experience and extensive volunteer work with not-for-profits.
“I not only wanted to give back to the city I loved, I wanted to be a part of the solution,” the West Bluff resident said announcing his candidacy.
Before a crowd of about 40 at the Peoria North Branch Library – Ruckriegel served on the city’s library board before his appointment – he promised to work to balance budgets; ensure quality, basic services, and keep city government “small but effective.”
Among his priorities are to:
Because it is an at-large seat, a primary will be held only if more than 10 people file for the contest – the standard cut-off for such a race – Peoria County Election Commission executive director Tom Bride said.
However, because only one seat is up for grabs, the cumulative – or “bullet” – voting that is usually a fixture of at-large races will not be a factor.
Ruckriegel is the first member of the council to formally launch an election campaign. However, 5th District City Councilman Casey Johnson said earlier this year that he intended to seek another term, and last year Mayor Jim Ardis said that he was likely interested in seeking a fourth term in office.