Diana Hauman is asking political players in the Twin Cities to keep local elections nonpartisan.
The Bloomington alderman sent an email Sunday addressing Normal and Bloomington city council candidates.
“Please remember that our municipal elections are nonpartisan,” Hauman wrote. “There is no D, R, G, I, etc. after candidates’ names on the ballot. While each of you may identify with, be a member of or serve in a leadership position in a local political party, this descriptor is not part of our municipal elections.”
Hauman said she wrote the message not as the city’s Ward 8 representative, but as a concerned citizen, after hearing “rumblings” about representatives of political parties supporting local candidates.
In her email Hauman calls on candidates to maintain their “political independence” throughout their campaigns.
She also asks local party leaders, copied on the email, to refrain from endorsing or financially supporting candidates who may identify with their party.
“This is one election where the voters can and should cast their ballots based on the person and his/her qualifications and platform, and not party affiliation,” she wrote.
“Voting at the city or municipal level really is the place where we have an opportunity to make a difference,” Hauman explained before Monday night’s city council meeting. “I’m kind of cynical in thinking that on the state and national level, you don’t always have that opportunity because of the way the districts are drawn.”
Hauman said countywide elections last month, particularly the McLean County clerk’s race, brought a new level of politically-charged rhetoric to the community.
“I thought it got personal where it didn’t need to get personal,” she said. “We’re in a small community, and you vote on a Tuesday, but then you get up the next morning and whoever won or lost, you’re going to see them at the grocery store or the movie theater or someplace ... we’re going to run into the people that we’re running against day in and day out. I don’t think we need to get into personalities and talking about or talking down people.”
As to what’s fueling fiery local races, Hauman said she isn’t sure, except that it could be a reflection of the national political climate.
Hauman announced in July she would not seek a second term on the city council.
The municipal elections take place April 2.
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