ALTON - With April 4, 2017, less than a month away, several elections are being contested, but perhaps the most contentious one is the race for Alton mayor.
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Currently, four men are running for the position; two on the ballot and two as write-ins. Alton Mayor Brant Walker (who won as a write-in in 2013) is on the ballot alongside Scott Dixon. Joshua Young and Alton Police Lt. Dan Rauschkolb are running as write-ins.
Young and Rauschkolb were going to run against each other in what would have been the first Democratic primary election in Alton's history. That would have occurred on Feb. 28, 2017, - if either candidate had filed a statement of economic interest with Madison County. Both Young and Rauschkolb said they filed that statement with Alton City Clerk Mary Boulds. The full story can be found here.
Following the failure of Young and Rauschkolb to file to run against each other as Democrats, Rauschkolb declared himself an Independent and filed to run in the general election. Young maintained he is a Progressive Democrat, modeling his platform on a "more fluid" version of Teddy Roosevelt's Progressive Movement of the early 20th Century.
However, after Rauschkolb filed to run as an Independent in the general election, Young and Patrick Schwarte filed protests against his candidacy based on a 2016 case, Rudd v. Lake County Electoral Board, which declares a candidate cannot "party-switch" between primaries and the general election. The Alton Electoral Board agreed with Schwarte's protest, but tossed Young's protest, due to his failure to provide an address.
On February 15, 2017, Dixon held a town hall meeting at the Riverbender.com Community Center against the reelection of Walker. Following that meeting, Walker disputed some of Dixon's numbers. Both men's claims were investigated by Riverbender.com. The results of that investigation can be found here.
The Community Awareness Panel hosted a community forum on Feb. 23, 2017, at the Alton VFW Post #1308, during which all four candidates were asked questions, which were not screened, during a town-hall-style forum. Their answers to those questions (with a bit of fact-checking) can be found here.
Tonight, the East End Improvement Association (EEIA) will sponsor its Fourth Annual Candidates Forum at 7 p.m. a the Atrium Hotel on College Avenue. The forum will be moderated by EEIA Board Member, Steve Schwartz. Besides hosting all four mayoral candidates, the forum will also allow people running for seats as alderman to introduce themselves and speak regarding their qualifications, reasons for running and why they should be elected.
These are the people running for the position of alderman in Alton
- Ward 1 - James R. Hernandez and Brian M. Campbell
- Ward 2 - Carolyn MacAfee and Eric Konkol
- Ward 3 - Michael J. Velloff and Ayron Womack
- Ward 4 - Tammy Smith, Rosetta L. Brown, Steven Kimbrough, Sr., Stanton E. Holliday and Carlton William Cannon
- Ward 5 - Charles Brake (unopposed)
- Ward 6 - Terry Bristow and Stephanie J. Elliott
- Ward 7 - David L. Boulds (unopposed)
After the introduction of the candidates for positions as aldermen, citywide candidates will be introduced. Both Alton City Clerk Mary T. Boulds and Alton City Treasurer Cameo C. Foster are running unopposed. A release from the EEIA said they will therefore be introduced and made available for questions afterwards.
The mayoral candidates will then be introduced and will be given three minutes to speak on their qualifications, reasons for running and why they should be elected. Mayoral candidates will then be given up to two minutes each to respond to specific questions submitted by the audience and screened by an impartial committee of the EEIA.
Candidates will be timed by a colored spotlight system. A green light will be on until only 30 seconds remain in a response. A yellow light will appear when a candidate is limited to 30 seconds. A red light will appear when the candidate is out of time.
A live stream of the forum can be viewed here.
The EEIA has existed since the 1850s, and is a charitable 501(c)3 organization. Besides hosting this forum, the EEIA also sponsors and organizes the Alton Memorial Day and Halloween parades, awarding two annual scholarships to graduating high school seniors, takes part in the PRIDE, Inc. Bucket Brigade, the Salvation Army bell ringing and working Christmas Wonderland at Rock Spring Park.
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