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7 candidates turn in paperwork for at-large Peoria City Council race on first filing day

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Seven candidates are running so far for the five at-large Peoria City Council seats up for grabs next year.

Incumbents Zach Oyler and John Kelly are running for new terms. Kiran Velpula, who was appointed to fill out the rest of Rita Ali's term after she was elected mayor, is also running for a full term.

Other candidates to date include Mike Vespa, Bernice Gordon-Young, Benjamin Nicks, Jr.; and Shawn Allen. Additional candidates have launched campaigns, but hadn't yet filed as of end of business Monday.

At-large councilmember Beth Jensen previously told WCBU she plans to run again. Councilmember Sid Ruckriegel declined to immediately comment to a WCBU reporter Tuesday, citing a family situation.

Unlike the five district councilmembers, at-large members represent the entire city.

The filing period for the 2023 consolidated primary is Nov. 21 through Nov. 28. Peoria County Election Commission Executive Director Elizabeth Gannon said she will update the list of candidates daily through the end of the filing period.

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Tim is the News Director at WCBU Peoria Public Radio.