Email I received from Mayoral candidate, General Parker.
Peoria County Democrats Playing Plantation Politics
in 2010 County Board Races, Candidates Say
PEORIA, Ill. – With the Feb. 2 primary a few days away, voters are being left in the dark about
the political backdoor dealings that are manipulating County Board races to help the status quo
remain in power.
In the 1st District, Bonnie Hester didn’t want to run for re-election, but was strongly urged to run
by leaders of the Peoria County Democratic Central Committee.
Why? Because former County Board Chairman David Williams is running for her 1st District
seat, and it’s common knowledge that Williams and Billy Halstead, Peoria County Democratic
Committee Chairman, do not get along.
Halstead has even gone so far as to question Williams’ loyalty to the Democratic party,
suggesting Williams may be a Republican because he forged relationships on both sides of the
aisle during his 14-year tenure on the board.
Susan Yvette Cagle, who was on the ballot for that same 1st District seat, is pushed to withdraw
from the race. Through backdoor dealings by Halstead, Cagle is allowed to withdraw after the
Cagle said she was asked to run, and was then intimidated and harassed to withdraw by Halstead
and Jackie Petty, another Peoria County Democratic leader. She has phone records and saved
messages showing numerous intimidating calls to her.
Halstead told Cagle she could use the Democratic Committee office to compile a list of voters
and for whatever else she needed to run. But Halstead never told Cagle he was supporting
Hester, never said Hester was going to retire even though that was the message the 1st District
incumbent was putting out. Hester said she felt overwhelmed with the demands of the position,
and health issues.
Hester didn’t want to run, and hasn’t really campaigned, Cagle said. The Democratic Committee
is basically running her campaign for her.
When Cagle found out Hester was going to run again, and that Halstead would support Hester,
not her, “I really felt like I was used,” Cagle said.
Another candidate, who possibly has the strongest credentials of all three women, is treated like
a Republican outsider. Rachael Parker was never asked to speak with the Democratic Committee
about her candidacy, her qualifications, despite the committee’s and other groups assurances that
they would support all Democratic candidates.
All three candidates are black.
All three candidates are women.
At a candidate’s forum, Halstead was hostile to Williams and Parker, peppering them with
questions, as if he were questioning Republicans, not members of his own party. Even though he
told Cagle he would meet with all candidates before the races took off, he never met with
Williams or Parker.
To add even more layers of craziness, Channel 25 in Peoria interviews all the County Board
candidates except for Williams and Parker.
“This is the strangest race I’ve ever seen,” Williams said, wondering why the media will report
on every other race except this one.
The question voters should be asking on Feb. 2 is: How racist does the Democratic Committee
need to be? How sexist does the Democratic Committee need to be?
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