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WGLT's reporting on the November 2020 election cycle.

2nd Democrat Plans To Run In West Side County Board District

Chiko Russo
Campaign photo
Nathan "Chiko" Russo is running for McLean County Board as a Democrat.

Another Democrat has announced plans to run in McLean County Board District 8, which includes downtown Bloomington and much of the city's west side.

Nathan “Chiko” Russo, a lifetime resident of Bloomington's west side, said he plans to announce his candidacy Friday at the Laborers Local 362 hall. Russo is a union construction worker.

Russo is a Democratic precinct committeeperson. Recently Russo was involved in successful neighborhood efforts to stop the reopening of Park Pantry at the former West Side Food and Beverage near Miller Park. The Bloomington City Council voted 5-4 in July to deny Park Pantry’s request to sell alcohol.

“Decent jobs, support for our youth, our veterans, homeless people and hunger are all concerns I see in our community. I want to be part of solving those problems," Russo said in a statement Friday.

Russo's announcement sets up a Democratic primary matchup in March against Lea Cline of Bloomington. Cline is an art history professor at Illinois State University and chairs the Bloomington Historic Preservation Commission. She was one of the first Democrats to announce a run for County Board this cycle, in early October.

Republican Jordan Baker, a student at Illinois Wesleyan University, is also running in District 8.

Democrat Carlo Robustelli currently holds the seat, but he's not seeking re-election in 2020.

There are now at least 10 Democrats who plan to run for County Board in 2020.

The Republican majority on the County Board shrunk from 15-5 to 13-7 after the 2018 election. For Democrats to win control, they’d have to protect two currently Democratic seats (George Gordon’s in District 6 and Robustelli’s in District 8) and also win four of five seats now held by Republicans.

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Ryan Denham is the digital content director for WGLT.
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