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Peoria protest vote boosts withdrawn school board candidate over incumbent
By Nick Katers
Peoria, Illinois: Withdrawn candidate Sue L. Wolstenholm defeated incumbent Laura Petelle on Tuesday for the District 3 seat on the Peoria school board. Wolstenholm withdrew from the race on February 21, 2014 due to health concerns. Her withdrawal took place after the deadline to remove candidates from the ballot. Wolstenholm's victory was aided by a vigorous campaign by Change150, a community group that opposes current board policies. The organization advocates for shorter board terms, improved district relations with teachers and a third-party assessment of district policies. Change150 received the backing of the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and called on voters to choose Wolstenholm as a protest against the status quo. Petelle was first elected in 2009 and served one five-year term.
Wolstenholm will not take the District 3 seat when Petelle's term ends in July, forcing the board to appoint a new member within 45 days of the term's end. Change150 will advocate for a candidate who supports the group's mission. The appointed board member will serve until the next board election in March 2015.
- Peoria Journal-Star, "Sue Wolstenholm drops out of District 150 race," February 21, 2014
- Change150, "The Core Issues," accessed March 16, 2014
- CINewsNow.com, "Peoria NAACP Supports Change 150 Group," March 14, 2014
- Peoria Public Radio, "Sue Wolstenholm unseats D 150 school board incumbent Laura Petelle," March 18, 2014