UPDATED 8:30 a.m. | McLean County Board member Paul Segobiano said Tuesday he’s hoping Republicans field a candidate against the Democrat who beat him in last month’s primary.
Segobiano has served on the McLean County Board for more than 40 years. But he lost March 20 to Democratic challenger Shayna Watchinski, who won 70 percent of the vote. Watchinski will face Libertarian candidate Steve Suess in November.
Local Republican Party leaders have until June 4 to appoint their own candidate to also join November’s ballot. Segobiano said he hopes they do.
“A good candidate would make for a more spirited contest,” Segobiano said.
The longtime Democrat said he’s been speaking with local Republicans about possibly running a candidate against Watchinski and Suess.
“Personally, if I thought it was a good candidate, someone who could represent the west side of Bloomington and the hard-working people there, I’d probably lend them my support,” Segobiano told GLT.
District 8 is one of the most Democratic districts in McLean County. The other member who represents District 8 is Carlo Robustelli, a Democrat who endorsed Watchinski in the primary. Many of Segobiano’s endorsements were from Republicans.
Segobiano said he's been asked previously if he was interested in changing his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican. He said he never considered it.
“I bleed and die the west side of Bloomington, and I’m just looking for someone who can speak up for us on the county level,” Segobiano said.
Watchinski told GLT she's moving on.
"I wish Paul the best in whatever he pursues in the future. As for me and my campaign we are moving on," she said. "My focus is on the goals I laid out to the voters of District 8, including a more accessible county government, expanded mental health care services and economic development."
Segobiano himself cannot run in November as a Republican. The state’s so-called “sore loser” law means a candidate who ran (and lost) in the primary cannot file a statement of candidacy as an independent candidate or as a different established party’s candidate at the immediately following general election.
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