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2 File For Vacant McLean County Board Seat

The McLean County Government Center in downtown Bloomington
Eric Stock
The McLean County Government Center in downtown Bloomington

Former McLean County Board member Sally Pyne and union leader Jim Rogal have filed for a vacant county board seat.

Both candidates currently serve in elected offices and may have to surrender those positions if elected to the board.

Thursday was the deadline to file for the vacancy in District 4 that covers west and northwest Normal. The vacancy was created when Democrat Logan Smith resigned last month to take a job out of state.

The county board is required to appoint someone from the same party as Smith to serve the remaining year and five months of the term.

Pyne is a retired educator who served one two-year term on the board before she was defeated in the 2014 general election. Pyne has served as a Normal Township trustee. In April, she was elected to a second four-year term.

In her application to the county executive committee, Pyne said she intends to serve in both roles if chosen to fill the vacancy.

“I am prepared to work diligently in those capacities and believe a level of reciprocal cooperation might be reached through my participation,” Pyne said in the letter.

Pyne said an attorney with the Illinois State Board of Elections (ISBE) advised her she could serve in both roles. But Matt Dietrich, spokesperson for the ISBE, told WGLT that Pyne would have to resign from the township board if elected to the McLean County Board.

"According to the latest Index of Opinions from the (Illinois) Attorney General's Office, those two offices are incompatible and can't be held at the same time," Dietrich said in an email, but added candidates can opt to challenge those opinions in court.

Rogal has worked in research and education with the Laborers' International Union of North America (LiUNA) Midwest Region since he and his family moved back to McLean County in 2015.

"We chose to relocate here because of the community," Rogal said in his letter to the committee.

Rogal previously served as a legislative liaison to the Illinois Department of Corrections and held several staff positions in the Illinois Senate.

Rogal also serves as vice president of the Normal Library Board. Dietrich said prior legal opinion from the AG's office indicates library board and county board also are incompatible.

Rogal said the Normal Public Library got legal advice from the town that there was no apparent conflict, but that he should seek a legal opinion from the county if elected.

"If I get the appointment, I would step down from the library board if the county attorney or attorney general or whoever says I am not able to serve on both," Rogal said.

Pyne and Rogal are scheduled to appear before the executive committee on Monday. County Board Chair McIntyre plans to nominate a candidate for the position at the board's July 15 meeting.

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Eric Stock is the News Director at WGLT. You can contact Eric at ejstoc1@ilstu.edu.
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