UPDATED 12:30 p.m. | District 87 school board candidate Jon Reed has formally withdrawn from the race, election officials said Tuesday.
Reed filed his withdrawal form Tuesday morning, according to the McLean County clerk's office. That means any votes for Reed will be negated, and he cannot win a seat.
Reed suspended his campaign Friday after coming under criticism for posting racist and misogynist content on social media. He apologized for “any comments or posts that may have offended” and said he did not want his campaign to distract from the district’s students, parents and staff.
Because the ballot has already been certified, Reed’s name will remain on the ballot regardless. Early voting began Friday.
That leaves only four candidates seeking four seats: incumbents Brigette Beasley Gibson, Chuck Irwin and Elizabeth Fox Anvick, and newcomer Fitzgerald Samedy.
It's unclear how Reed’s exit from the race might affect Samedy. Their names appeared on shared yard signs that asked voters to “Elect Two Good Men.” Samedy, who has also served as a Republican precinct committeeman, did not return requests for comment from WGLT.
Superintendent Barry Reilly said he’s a District 87 taxpayer too, and he’d “prefer to see school board members who are there for the benefit of kids and staff and moving our school district forward in a way that reflects our mission and values.”
“District 87 is a very diverse district, in fact one of the most diverse districts in the state. We pride ourselves in that,” Reilly said Monday. “We think that’s something that makes us a really great school district. Our board reflects that. Certainly with what we’ve seen in the past week or so, the candidates don’t all meet that. And this really calls for people to be well informed, to do their research before they vote, so they know exactly who they’re voting for. … Those things you’ve seen posted, those things do not represent what our values and mission are. And for a candidate to get elected who doesn’t reflect that would be very disappointing.”
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