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Museum of History volunteer director seeks McLean County Board seat

Government Center building
Emily Bollinger
The Government Center in downtown Bloomington.

One candidate has applied for a recent vacancy on the McLean County Board and is likely to be sworn in in the place where he’s currently employed.

Eric Hansen, the director of volunteers at the McLean County Museum of History, was the only candidate to file for the county board District 8 seat ahead of Thursday’s deadline.

The district includes downtown and much of west Bloomington.

Eric Hansen
Eric Hansen

Hansen said in a news release he also intends to run for the seat in 2024.

“District 8 encompasses much of who I am as a person. From downtown Bloomington where I have built my life and career to the county fairgrounds where I spent 11 summers showing 4-H projects, McLean County is the reason I am who I am today,” Hansen said.

Hansen noted he interned in the McLean County State's Attorney's Office while he attended Illinois State University and he previously worked for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates).

The county board vacancy was created when Jeannie Biles, a Democrat, stepped down last month.

The seat must be filled by someone from the same party as Biles. Hansen will be interviewed by the McLean County Board’s executive committee on Monday. His candidacy must then by approved by the full County Board, which is expected to make the appointment during its Sept. 14 meeting.

The candidate chosen will serve through the end of the two-year term that will end in December 2024.

The county board will first elect a new chair at the meeting, following John McIntyre’s resignation on Tuesday.

The monthly county board meeting will be held at the museum, due to ongoing renovations to the nearby Government Center meeting room where the county and City of Bloomington hold the regular meetings. The former McLean County courthouse is owned by the county. The independent, non-profit museum leases the building from the county.

Applications for his open board seat in District 5 (Normal) are being accepted through noon Oct. 5.

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Corrected: September 10, 2023 at 9:07 AM CDT
This story has been corrected to explain the relationship between the McLean County Museum of History and the county-owned building it leases.
Eric Stock is the News Director at WGLT. You can contact Eric at ejstoc1@ilstu.edu.
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