CHAMPAIGN, Ill., (WCIA) — It’s already election season and many people are throwing their names in for mayor, city council and school board. That means you’ll start seeing yard signs, TV commercials and maybe even ads while you’re scrolling online.
Two Champaign mayoral candidates are taking different approaches to get their names checked off on the ballots. Don Gerard is a former mayor, and Deb Feinen is the current mayor. Azark David Cobbs is also running.
Feinen is spreading her name online and Gerard is focusing on word of mouth.
“City politics, municipal government, our school districts, and so forth, that’s really closest to your average citizen,” Gerard said.
He said he’s keeping things lowkey and hope voters hit the polls.
“I’m hoping just it’ll play out to where people get good information, make a choice and choose to vote,” Gerard added.
Current mayor Deb Feinen feels the same.
“Any way that you can get people to see your message, get information, you’ve got to reach out and try to do that,” she said.
To do that, she’s using online ads as she has in the past.
“It’s a cheaper way to get more voters engaged and drive them to my website so they can get more information,” Feinen added.
She is also continuing to use other traditional ways of campaigning like yard signs. All of it, Feinen said, helps with name recognition and visibility.
Gerard knows it’s important to know the names on the ballot and said community engagement is helping him spread the word about his candidacy.
“We’re actually just kind of keeping it more homegrown, basic and very low dollar,” Gerard said.
He said that’s because he’s tired of seeing so many political ads taking over his screens.
“I wanted to push the conversation, get in the race so that we would have debates and forums and so forth,” Gerard said. “We can discuss the issues facing Champaign. If you don’t run that doesn’t happen.”
Feinen wants to make sure everyone knows the election is coming up, and that her name is on the ballot.
“I think the biggest thing for municipal elections is reminding people that they’re going on,” Feinen said. “In Novemeber, there’s no doubt that there’s an election, but municipal elections really touch everyone closest to home.”
Azark David Cobbs is also running for Champaign mayor, WCIA reached out and did not hear back. People are already voting early, the election is April 4.