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Social studies teacher applies for McLean County Board seat

McLean County Government Center
WGLT file photo

A social studies teacher and coach at Heyworth High School is the only candidate to file for a short-term vacancy on the McLean County Board after the board earlier rejected the first applicant.

Jay Lawler of Normal applied for the seat in District 4, which represents parts of Normal. He wants to replace Democrat Matt Coates, who resigned in July to accept a job with the Illinois Prisoner Review Board.

Lawler has been teaching at Heyworth High School since 2016, according to the application he submitted to the board. He also is the school’s head women’s basketball coach.

Earlier this month, the county board rejected the nomination of Krystle Able, the only previous applicant, for the vacancy. At a board meeting, the head of the McLean County Fraternal Order of Police described her as “anti-police” and urged the county not to approve her appointment. The Democratic Party already had slated Able to run in the general election in November.

The person chosen for the seat will serve until new countybBoard members are sworn in in December. Lawler did not file for the general election in November.

The county is required to appoint someone from the same party as Coates. Filling the vacancy will give Democrats equal representation with Republicans on the 20-member board.

Lawler will interview with the McLean County Board’s Executive Committee on Friday afternoon. The full board will consider the nomination during a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. Friday.

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