Monday was the first official day to file nominating petitions to run for political office in April. Several incumbent mayors are seeking re-election, and some will have challengers for the first time. Other mayors are stepping down, and experienced politicians are running for political office again.
Mayor Mark Eckert filed to run for re-election along with a full slate of candidates as the Belleville Good Government party with City Clerk Linda Fields seeking re-election; City Treasurer Jerry Turner seeking re-election; Ward 1 Alderman Ken Kinsella seeking re-election; Ward 2 Alderwoman Dorothy Meyer seeking re-election; Ward 3 Alderman Rob Anderson seeking re-election; Johnnie Anthony for Ward 4 alderman; Ward 5 Alderman Phillip Silsby seeking re-election; Ward 6 Alderman Dave Martinson seeking re-election; Victoria Weygandt for Ward 7 alderwoman; Ward 8 Alderman James Musgrove seeking re-election.
Independent Robert White has filed for Ward 6 alderman.
Mayor Gary Graham was the only person to file a petition to run for mayor Monday. Graham was first elected mayor in 1997. Prior to being elected mayor, he served as an alderman, a school board member for O'Fallon District 203 and was chairman of the O'Fallon Planning Commission.
Ken Mueller was the sole person to file a petition to run for mayor in Swansea on Monday. Mueller served as mayor of Red Bud from 2007-11 and prior to becoming mayor served as an alderman.
He also served on Swansea's planning commission in the 1970s and on the Swansea Village Board from 1980 to 1990. He currently serves on the village's park board.
Earlier this month, Mayor Jim Rauckman announced he will not be running for re-election. Rauckman said he was "always going to be a one-term mayor."
No one filed a petition to run for mayor in Shiloh on Monday. However, Mayor Jim Vernier said he plans to file his petition this week.
Longtime Mayor Gary Niebur announced last month that he will not run for re-election. Alderwoman Barb Jurgena-Stamer has turned in her petition to run for mayor, as has county board member Hal Patton. Three other people have picked up petitions but have not turned them in yet.
Aldermen Jeanette Mallon and Tom Butts are running for re-election, so far unopposed. Larry Miller and Craig Louer have filed to run in Ward 6 to replace Alderman Rich Rezabek, who is not running again.
Village president Rob Jackstadt has filed to run for re-election and thus far is unopposed. Trustee Jorja Dickman is running for re-election, while longtime trustees Larry Kacer and Bob Buehler are stepping down. Petitions have been filed by Mary Beth Williams, David S. Smith and Douglas Dial for the village board.
Mayor Ed Hagnauer has filed to run for re-election and thus far is unopposed. Incumbents have filed in all five wards, so far unopposed: Gerald Williams, Walmer Schmidtke, Dan McDowell, Paul Jackstadt and Ron Simpson.
Mayor Larry Gulledge has filed to run for re-election, as have the three trustees whose terms are up: Linda Garcia, Edward Kostyshock and Craig Short.
People interested in running for municipal, township or school board seats have until 5 p.m. on Dec. 26 to file petitions with the village clerk in order to be placed on the April ballot.