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Barnett won’t seek re-election to the McLean County Board, while a new candidate emerges

 Josh Barnett, left, announced he will not seek reelection to the McLean County Board in District 10, while William Holditch said he intends to run in the Republican primary.
Josh Barnett, left, announced he will not seek re-election to the McLean County Board in District 10, while William Holditch said he intends to run in the Republican primary.

Josh Barnett has announced he will not seek re-election to the McLean County Board this year.

Barnett, a Republican, has served on the board representing east side Bloomington residents in District 10 since 2016.

“It has been the honor of my lifetime to represent the people of Bloomington on the McLean County Board, but I have decided now is the right time to step down and explore other opportunities,” Barnett said in a news release. “While this chapter of my life is closing, we are far from the end of my public service story."

Barnett, one of 11 Republicans on the 20-member County Board, has at times clashed with fellow Republicans on the board. Last year, he accused the party of working backroom deals to redraw the county’s district maps.

Barnett currently heads the county board’s property committee and legislative subcommittee. He also serves on the board’s executive committee, finance committee, and rules subcommittee. Barnett also advocated for moving board meetings to evenings to improve public accessibility and to live stream all board and committee meetings.

He announced a bid to run for Bloomington City Council in 2018, but later decided against it.

New candidate

Barnett’s announcement comes days after a new candidate declared his intentions to run in District 10.
William Holditch, a business professor at Lincoln College and an emergency medical technician for LeRoy Ambulance services, calls himself a “fiscal conservative and small government Republican.”

Holditch said he also has worked 25 years in a family business.

“Doing more with less is a universal motto in family business. This same attitude and approach should be embraced by the McLean County Board,” Holditch said in a news release. “This means cutting waste and keeping taxes low.”

Barnett indicated his decision not to run was unrelated to Holditch's announcement and that Barnett made his decision during the holidays, but he decided to wait until after the county board meeting in January.

"Let me clear, if I wanted to continue to serve on the county board I would be running again. Had I run, I would have won," Barnett told WGLT.

All 20 county board seats will be on the ballot this year. Each candidate who wins election in November will participate in a lottery to determine who is elected to a two-year term and who can serve for four years, based on the county’s new district maps it adopted late last year.

The Illinois primary is scheduled for June 28.

Republican Chuck Erickson is the other District 10 representative on the county board.

No other incumbents have said whether they plan to seek re-election.

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