GOP, sheriff’s union shoots down Democratic county board candidate
BLOOMINGTON (25 News Now) - Voting along party lines, the McLean County Board Thursday night rejected a woman from Normal’s bid to fill a vacant board seat after the head of the sheriff deputies’ union said her “anti-police” views would divide the community.
Democrat Krystle Able was the only applicant to replace Matt Coates, who resigned his District 4 seat when Gov. JB Pritzker appointed him to serve on the Illinois Prisoner Review Board.
Eight Republicans voted no and seven Democrats voted for Able’s appointment. Republican Gerald Thompson and Democrats Jim Rogal and Hannah Beer were absent.
The argument is over who gets to fill a board seat for only until early December when two candidates elected in November take over.
Cory Wills, president of the deputies’ Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 176, cited a social media post that he said should disqualify her for board service, and creates a “huge red flag for the safety of this community.”
Able confirmed she did make the following post more than a year ago:
“Roses are red, No lives are blue, Defund the police, and abolish ICE too.”
Wills told the board, “Miss Able does not believe in the criminal justice system, law enforcement, and quite frankly, Miss Able is anti-police.”
“We don’t need someone on the board who has such extreme, anti-police views,” Wills said.
He added, “The citizens of this county deserve to have a qualified candidate who keeps an open mind and is supportive of the community.”
Able told 25 News it’s not a surprise Republicans and police don’t support her views on criminal justice and immigration. Able said she’s proud of steps taken by state Democrats to eliminate cash bail and bolster pre-trial fairness.
Able said she’ll apply again to represent District 4, which mainly covers west and northcentral Normal, along with a small portion of west Bloomington.
She’s also one of four candidates running for the two seats up for election in November.
The county board will hold a special meeting Friday, August 26 at 5:30 p.m. to vote again on the temporary appointment.
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