The McLean County Board vice chairman is responding to an allegation by his opponent in the November election that he doesn't live where he claims.
Democrat David Siebert of Saybrook used social media to allege three-term Republican Jim Soeldner spends most of his time at a home in Bloomington and not his listed address of Ellsworth.
Soeldner told GLT on Tuesday he stays part-time at his late parents’ home on Parmon Road off East Lincoln Street as he recovers from several recent surgeries that have limited his mobility.
“The options either were to go into nursing home rehab for one of them or if I could come up with another facility, that’s why I had been staying some at my parents’ house," Soeldner said.
Soeldner, 62, was put on disability last October after working 28 years with Midwest Electronics in Ellsworth. He said he has future surgeries planned for his knees.
Soeldner said he often has difficulty getting around his two-story Victorian-style home in Ellsworth, but still spends several nights a week there.
Siebert said he hired a private investigator after several residents asked him about it. Siebert is not contesting the legitimacy of Soeldner’s eligibility to run or serve, but suggests he’s deceiving the constituents he was elected to serve.
“There was absolutely no reason he couldn’t have used his mailing address in Bloomington—none—other than he didn’t want that visibility,” Siebert said. “He didn’t want it to look that way."
Soeldner said he hasn't deceived anyone and still spends lots of time in his district.
“I still attend all the events out there in my district,” Soeldner said. “Obviously I’m campaigning now and so I go to as many of those events as I can.”
Siebert said he plans to focus on other issues during the final seven weeks of the campaign.
“I’ve got too many other things to focus on to let this be a driving force,” Siebert said. “I brought this up because I told these gentlemen I would look into it.
“I have, I put out my report and I’m done with it.”
Soeldner represents District 2 on the McLean County Board. Also running for District 2 in November is Libertarian Paul Michael Enerson. The election is Nov. 6.
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