UPDATED 5:45 p.m. | Bloomington City Council candidate Travis Wilson dropped out of the race Tuesday after acknowledging he hasn't lived in Ward 8 long enough to meet legal requirements.
Wilson's exit leaves Jeff Crabill as the unopposed candidate in Ward 8 on Bloomington's east side. Alderman Diana Hauman now represents Ward 8 but she's not seeking re-election.
Wilson moved to Ward 8 in late May. That means he would not have lived in the ward at least one year before the April 2 election, as required by law.
"It was brought to my attention that I fell a few weeks short of what was required for living within my ward," Wilson said in a statement. "Though I believed I met the requirements, I acknowledge that I currently do not by about 7 weeks. I acknowledge how the law is written and take responsibility for misinterpreting those laws."
Earlier Tuesday, Wilson told GLT he was waiting to hear back from his legal team before commenting on further action. By Tuesday night, he exited the race.
"It is disappointing that the residents of Ward 8 will not be able to have a choice when it comes to elections, but I believe elections should be run according to the law, and I do not wish to hinder that process," said Wilson, a paramedic who manages the McLean County EMS system.
Prior to Wilson's withdrawal, Bloomington Election Commission Executive Director Paul Shannon said there was nothing the commission could do.
“The only way to have him removed from the ballot at this point is for Mr. Wilson to come in and remove himself,” Shannon said.
Shannon said a resident filed a petition challenge questioning Wilson’s residency, but the person who filed it did not live in Ward 8 and withdrew the challenge.
“When we receive a petition, we don’t do the research on those. It is up to other voters or other candidates to do the research to see whether or not the person is qualified,” Shannon said. “We look at a petition when it comes to us, if it seems to have apparent conformity, we accept the petition.”
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