McLean County Board member William Caisley announced Thursday he won’t be seeking a fifth term next year and instead will support a political newcomer for the Republican nomination in District 4 next spring.
Caisley was the first to sign the nominating petitions for Adelita Cruz during a news conference Thursday.
Cruz, a manager at State Farm, is a Colorado native who moved to McLean County with her family in 2015.
Cruz said she considers running for public office the next step of civil service, noting she has volunteered at food banks, provided interview prep for high school students, and tutored college students.
Cruz said she wants to provide oversight into how the county’s tax dollars are spent.
“The county departments run some programs that are important to our citizens and that are important to me, such as veterans affairs, the administration of that and also the mental health program,” Cruz said, referencing the county’s new veterans court. “With my help and my vote, I can ensure these programs are properly funded.”
Her husband Brandon Cruz is an Iraq war veteran who served in the Marines.
Caisely, a retired judge who will turn 80 in December, has served on the board since 2006. He’s currently head of the County Board’s transportation committee and serves on the executive committee. Caisley said he felt several major benchmarks over the last year—the opening of the McLean County jail addition and the hiring of Camille Rodriguez as the new administrator—make this a good time to prepare to leave the board.
“It seems to me this may be a logical time for me to conclude my service on the board and to allow a new person with fresh perspectives to serve the people of my district,” Caisley said.
Caisley indicated he was worried about who will fill his seat so he tried recruiting potential successors.
“I found several that I thought would be well qualified, but they weren’t interested,” Caisley said. “It takes somebody who demonstrates an interest in in the job and I think she demonstrates an interest in the job.”
“She wants to do it and I think that she will make an outstanding County Board member.”
Cruz said she doesn’t look to bring a political ideology to county government.
“I don’t know that I would say we need to divide ourselves that strongly as Republican or Democrat,” she said. “I look at myself as I am a citizen who has the opportunity to improve the lives of everyone around and I want to be involved.”
District 4 includes much of west Normal and some rural areas to the north.
No other candidate has declared for the seat.
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