Election 2021 - WCBU Voter Guide

WCBU is committed to helping you become an informed voter ahead of the spring 2021 elections. The primary is Feb. 23, followed by the general election April 6.

Candidates Forum

WCBU hosted a forum Jan. 21 featuring the candidates running for Peoria mayor in the primary. This virtual event was co-sponsored by WCBU, the League of Women Voters of Greater Peoria, and the Peoria Public Library.

A second debate is planned for 8-9 p.m. Feb. 25 featuring the top two vote-getters who advance to the general election. That debate is co-sponsored by WTVP, the League of Women Voters of Greater Peoria, and the Peoria Public Library. More details to come.

You can watch the Jan. 21 forum on YouTube below or read our recap story.

How To Vote

You can register to vote online.

You can also request a mail-in ballot in Peoria County, Tazewell County, or Woodford County.

Early voting and mail voting began Jan. 14 for the primary election. Early voting and mail voting begins Feb. 25 for the general election.

Peoria Mayoral Candidates

These candidates are on the ballot in the Peoria mayoral race:

Peoria City Council Candidates

Find out which district you live in. You can also find candidate surveys below, conducted by the League of Women Voters Peoria County.

1st District City Council (Surveys)

  • Denise Jackson
  • Denise Moore
  • Aaron Chess Jr.
  • Alexander Sierra

2nd District City Council (Surveys)

  • Peter Kobak
  • James Kemper
  • Charles V. Grayeb

3rd District City Council (Surveys)

  • Gale Thetford
  • Lawrence J. Maushard
  • Timothy Riggenbach

4th District City Council (Surveys)

  • Andre W. Allen
  • Stephen A. Kouri
  • Patricia Melaik

5th District City Council (Surveys)

  • Ryan Hite
  • Denis Cyr

Peoria Public Schools Board

#3 or Northern District

#2 or Central District

  • Lynne Costic (i) - unopposed

WCBU is also following several other races in the Tri-County area. See our most recent coverage in the stories below.

Ways to Connect

WCBU / Zoom

The five candidates on the primary ballot to succeed outgoing Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis say they want to lead the city through its current challenges and into the future.

The write-in option was left off some copies of the February Peoria mayoral primary ballot.

Drop box
Tim Shelley / Peoria Public Radio

Early voting for next month’s consolidated primary elections began Thursday, and Peoria County Election Commission Executive Director Tom Bride believes turnout may be higher than usual this year.

Tim Shelley / Peoria Public Radio

Despite Peoria City Council positions being non-partisan, historical context coupled with nuanced rhetoric can sometimes be a clear giveaway to a candidate's party allegiance.

Zoom Press Conference / Rep. Ryan Spain

As the deadline looms to redraw state legislative districts for the next decade, Illinois House Republicans are making a last-ditch effort to take the process out of the hands of lawmakers and place the onus on a new independent commission.

Incumbent Dan Walther has drawn a challenge from Mike Murphy in his bid for re-election to the Peoria Public Schools Board of Education.

Tim Shelley / Peoria Public Radio

First District Peoria City Council candidate Denise Jackson says the conversation around the city's potential plans for the former Save-A-Lot grocery store on Western Avenue are flawed.

Peoria County Election Commission / YouTube

Peoria voters likely will have the opportunity to write in a candidate when voting in February’s mayoral primary--but not just any name they choose.

Montelongo for Mayor / YouTube

After nearly 12 years on the Peoria City Council, Jim Montelongo believes he is the best choice to follow Jim Ardis as the city's mayor.

The Peoria City Council is implementing a fee cap on third-party food delivery services like GrubHub and DoorDash during the ongoing COVID-19 mitigations that are shuttering indoor dining.

The list of names on the ballot for Peoria mayor is down to five after challenges to the nominating petitions for Couri Thomas and Rev. Chuck Brown were upheld in a Tuesday hearing.

The two candidates for Peoria mayor facing challenges to their nominating petitions say they are optimistic about remaining on the primary ballot.

Two Peoria mayoral candidates face petition challenges in their attempt to appear on the February 2021 primary ballot.

Jeff Smudde / WGLT

The City of Peoria will have an eyepopping seven candidates for mayor to choose from on the February 2021 primary ballot.

Joe Deacon / WCBU

Touting support for local businesses and defending his votes on budget cuts, Peoria City Councilman Denis Cyr officially launched his re-election bid for the 5th District seat on Tuesday.

Sid Ruckriegel believes his experience and relationship skills give him the qualifications he needs to become the next mayor of Peoria.


It appears Washington will have a contested mayoral race.

Peoria Public Radio File Photo

Washington Mayor Gary Manier wants to serve another four years leading the city.

Lawrence Maushard via Facebook

Lawrence Maushard is running to represent Peoria's Third District on the city council.

City of Peoria / Facebook

Peoria councilman Tim Riggenbach wants to continue making a difference in District 3, and all across the city.

Tim Shelley / Peoria Public Radio

Jim Ardis will not seek a fifth term as Peoria's mayor next spring.

Tim Shelley / Peoria Public Radio

First District Councilwoman Denise Moore is running for another four-year term.

Second District Councilman Chuck Grayeb says he wants to serve on the Peoria City Council another four years.

Allen for Peoria / Facebook

Andre Allen is making another run for a seat on the Peoria City Council.

Peoria 4th District Councilman Jim Montelongo said he's not running for another term next year, but he is eyeing a potential mayoral run.

Montelongo was elected to his current seat in 2013. Before that, he served four years as an at-large councilman.

"Two, four-year terms in one position should be plenty for anyone in public office to get things done. Now is the time to move up or move out of the way. So, it is time to pass the baton on to someone new to keep all the great things moving forward," Montelongo said.

Peter Kobak has decided to take another shot at joining the Peoria City Council.

Tim Shelley / Peoria Public Radio

At-Large Peoria City Councilwoman Rita Ali is running for mayor.

Tim Shelley / Peoria Public Radio

Ten years after it closed, the crumbling old Harrison School still stands at 2702 W. Krause Ave. on Peoria's South Side. It wasn't supposed to be this way.

Shawn Allen for City Clerk via Facebook

A Peoria Police Officer says he's running to become the next city clerk.

Tim Shelley / Peoria Public Radio

Former Peoria TV reporter Denise Jackson is running for the 1st District City Council seat.