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Shawn Allen's withdrawal means cancellation of February Peoria at-large council primary

It appears the Feb. 28 primary election for the five Peoria city council at-large seats may be off.

Eleven candidates filed to run for the seats. That triggered a February primary, which would eliminate one candidate from the running ahead of the April 4 general election.

Shawn Allen
Shawn for Peoria Facebook page
Shawn Allen

On Monday night, candidate Shawn Allen said he would be withdrawing after Jan Straesser challenged his signature petitions last Friday. Allen said he collected more signatures than required, but fell short on address verifications.

"I truly believe that we would have won one of the five seats, but not this time. This is a huge lesson learned and will only help us be better if we ever decide to pursue any future office," he said in a Facebook post.

Allen previously ran for city clerk in 2021. He lost to Stefanie Tarr.

Peoria County Election Commission executive director Elizabeth Gannon confirmed Allen was the candidate whose petitions were challenged.

"If he (withdraws) or is removed from the ballot through the electoral board hearing there would be no need for a primary," she said.

That means ten candidates would remain on the ballot. That includes Lawrence Maushard, Bernice Gordon-Young, Benjamin Nicks, Mike Vespa, Demario Boone, Annu Uddavolu, and Clara Underwood-Forman. Incumbents Kiran Velpula, Zach Oyler, and John Kelly are also in the running.

Under Peoria's unique system, voters in at-large races have five votes to cast for candidates. They can opt to cast all five votes for one candidate, or split their votes up among multiple candidates.

Tim is the News Director at WCBU Peoria Public Radio.