Republican from Normal announces run for 91st House District
Normal Town Council member Scott Preston said Wednesday he plans to run for the Illinois House in the redrawn 91st House District.
Preston, a Republican, is one among the first candidates to announce a run in the 91st District, which includes much of Bloomington-Normal and stretches west along Interstate 74 to Peoria. The seat was held by a Republican before redistricting, but it’s expected to be competitive for a Democrat now.
“Illinois is a great state with amazing people, yet our state politicians continue to fail us,” Preston said in a statement. “As a lifelong resident and entrepreneur, I run for state representative to bring a fresh perspective and problem-solving mentality to the issues our communities face every day. We must prioritize getting our economy back on track, investing in our educational institutions, and defeating efforts to defund or lessen the powers of law enforcement.”
Preston, now 34, owns a real estate investment company. Preston was first elected to the Town Council in 2013, then becoming the youngest council member in Normal history. He was re-elected to the council in 2021, and his term expires in 2025.
Preston is also a vice chair with the McLean County Republican Party, although the Town Council seat is a nonpartisan one. He considered a run for party chair in 2018 but ultimately opted against it.
Of his time on the council, Preston touted his “commitment to economic growth, keeping taxes low, and promoting policies to ensure a high quality of life.”
Preston faced criticism in 2016 for his handling of inaccurate travel expenses for trips on behalf of the town. He acknowledged poor record-keeping, calling them “inadvertent mistakes.” The Appellate Prosecutor’s Office was asked to review the matter and, in 2017, declined to file charges. He was re-elected to the town council later that year.
The field of candidates for the 91st District is still taking shape.
Democrat Karla Bailey-Smith of Bloomington, a small business owner and Democratic precinct committeeperson, says she’s running. She ran unsuccessfully for the Illinois House in 2020.
Former Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner, also a Democrat, is considering a run as well.
Preston is not the first Normal Town Council member who made a run at higher office. Chemberly Cummings, a Democrat, ran unsuccessfully against veteran state Rep. Dan Brady in 2020.
Candidates can begin filing to get on the 2022 ballot on March 7.
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