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Watchinski won’t seek re-election to McLean County Board and endorses a potential successor

McLean County Board member Shayna Watchinski (left) has announced she will not seek reelection, while Jeanne Biles (center) and Lea Cline both plan to run in District 8 this year.
WGLT file/courtesy
McLean County Board member Shayna Watchinski (left) has announced she will not seek reelection, while Jeanne Biles (center) and Lea Cline both plan to run in District 8 this year.

McLean County Board member Shayna Watchinski has announced she won’t seek a second term, but she has endorsed another Democrat who is seeking to replace her.

“It has been an honor to represent District 8 for the last four years. But it is time for me to pursue new paths,” Watchinski said in a news release.

Jeanne Biles of Bloomington said she plans to run for the seat in District 8, which will represent much of west Bloomington.

“I look forward to the opportunity to serve my district and to join Lea Cline and the other elected board members as we address the issues relevant to our community,” Biles said.

Cline, a Democrat who was elected in 2020, said she plans to seek a second term on the County Board. She currently served on the board’s Transportation and Land Use and Development committees, and the Legislative subcommittee.

“I’m dedicated to continuing my advocacy for our historic neighborhoods and infrastructure, and the improvement of services for our community's most vulnerable residents,” Cline said in a statement.

Watchinski said she is “thrilled” to endorse Biles’ candidacy.

“She shares my concerns for improving mental health resources in McLean County and ensuring the McLean County Nursing home remains an option for families in our community,” Watchinski said.

The primary filing period runs March 7-14. The primary election is scheduled for June 28. The general election will be held on Nov. 6.

All 20 County Board seats are up for election this year. A lottery will determine which board members will serve two-year terms and which will serve four-year terms, a practice which follows each 10-year redistricting.

Watchinski has become the second County Board member to announce plans to retire from the board this term. Republican Josh Barnett said in January he was ready to explore other opportunities.

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