The household that runs for public workplace collectively stays collectively.
That appears to be the motto of the Ammonses, Champaign County’s main political household.
Democratic state Rep. Carol Ammons was simply re-elected to the 103rd Illinois Home District, whereas her daughter, Titianna, ran with out opposition for a seat representing District 11 on the Champaign County Board. Carol’s husband and Titanna’s father is Champaign County Clerk Aaron Ammons, who’s in the course of his first four-year time period and might be anticipated to run for re-election in 2022.
Even post-Nov. 3, the household’s political fever continues to run excessive. Sizzling off her election to the county board, Titianna Ammons filed to run for metropolis clerk in Urbana.
However she gained’t get elected and not using a combat within the February Democratic Get together major as a result of, after a last-minute change of thoughts, veteran Clerk Phyllis Clark determined that she, too, is working.
“I actually love this job,” mentioned Clark, who served six full phrases earlier than retiring, solely to be appointed again to the publish after her successor, Charles Smyth, resigned in Could for well being causes.
Clark, who’s 73, was first elected in 1993, when she defeated longtime Republican incumbent Ruth Brookens.
She was repeatedly re-elected earlier than deciding to go away in 2017 after having two knee replacements that left her in want of what she referred to as “a bit of little bit of time” off.
However when Smyth encountered well being problems with his personal, Clark mentioned she was keen about Mayor Diane Marlin’s request that she return to the clerk’s workplace.
The workplace represents the executive arm of town council, one which handles all of the paperwork associated to the policy-making authority that belongs to the seven aldermen and Marlin. It additionally serves as a liaison to different authorities places of work and gives info to residents who’ve questions on municipal points.
The clerk’s wage is roughly $61,000, and the annual finances for workplace is about $250,000.
Satirically, Clark’s return to municipal authorities required her to ask that her pension be suspended. However she mentioned she was pleased to take action as a result of returning to town permits her to “become involved within the municipal processes.”
“I actually, actually love to assist folks,” she mentioned.
In distinction to Clark, Titianna Ammons is a relative newcomer to politics. She’s 30 years outdated, married and the mom of two and a scholar at Parkland School. However she’ll have the benefit of her dad and mom’ political affect within the Democratic major. Her mom was elected chairwoman of the Champaign County Democratic Get together in April.
“My committee will assist my daughter. However the occasion gained’t take a place,” Carol Ammons mentioned.
In a press release issued to The Information-Gazette, Titianna Ammons mentioned she determined to run as a result of “service is love.”
“My dad and mom, and this group, have taught me the significance of public service,” she mentioned. “I’ve spent numerous hours serving to my dad and mom arrange soup kitchens, clothes drives, reduction efforts after Hurricane Katrina, and so forth., and over the previous two years, I’ve helped arrange a number of group occasions, most just lately a Thanksgiving dinner giveaway for our homeless inhabitants.”
After being identified with a number of sclerosis in January, Titianna Ammons mentioned she “vowed that I’d not enable MS to manage my life.”
If elected, Titianna Ammons mentioned she’s going to work to make town clerk’s workplace extra accessible than it has ever been and simpler for the residents to study extra about native authorities.
She mentioned she opted to run for Urbana metropolis clerk whereas looking for the county board seat as a result of “I see the place of metropolis clerk as a chance to work together nearly every day with taxpayers, and that’s thrilling.”
“I’m geared up to supply public coverage on the county degree, however metropolis clerk is extra administrative, and that’s the place I can finest serve the folks of Urbana,” she mentioned.
Inside occasion battles might be tough by way of sustaining unity. Candidates want to have the ability to stress their variations with one another whereas avoiding the sort of campaigning that leaves laborious emotions and inside divisions.
This race is creating some fissures. How deep and the way everlasting stays to be seen.
Marlin is amongst these Democrats supporting Clark. She inspired her to run and helped gather petition signatures.
One other outstanding Urbana Democrat, former Alderman Eric Jakobsson, mentioned he, too, will “be voting for Phyllis.”
“I do know her nicely. She’s fantastic,” he mentioned.
Jakobsson mentioned the first contest will “pressure” the occasion, however not break it.
“The occasion is in some methods fairly fragmented and in different methods not so fragmented,” he mentioned. “There are some individuals who simply wish to step up and do some group providers. And there are others who’re extraordinarily bold for energy. The Ammonses are clearly extraordinarily bold.”