Nearly every position is contested in the races for Douglas Township. The township is mostly contiguous with the city of Effingham and includes Green Creek north of the city.

The exceptions are the elections of township clerk and township assessor. Incumbent Roger Braun has no competition for assessor and incumbent Mary Jo Althoff also is unchallenged for clerk.

On Tuesday, voters will choose a new supervisor to replace Ron Overbeck, who is retiring from the position after 16 years. Current trustees Nick Althoff and Dan Will are vying for that position.

However, voters will choose between either a newcomer or incumbent to fill the seat of highway commissioner, as Jeff Anderson seeks to unseat Richard Mette in that position.

In the trustees’ race, incumbents Luke Doedtman and Judy Wiethop face newcomers Jose Durbin, Zackery Pals and Paul Bloemer.

Judy Wiethop

Age: 62

Family: Husband Rod Wiethop, daughter Dannielle Harden, son-in-law Kyle, granddaughters Juls and Kalli, son Robbie Kingery, daughter-in-law Laynn, parents June Smith and the late Roger Smith

Education: graduate of St. Anthony High School, Lake Land College

Work experience: Retired from the Effingham County Clerk’s Office after 40 years

Current offices or offices held in the past: Current Douglas Township trustee and former Republican Precinct Committeeman

Memberships or organization affiliations: St. Anthony Church, Fellowship of Christian Athletes

Reason for running: While working many years with elections, I thoroughly enjoyed working with the local governments. Very interesting and wanted to give my vast knowledge in helping the community.

What qualifies you for this position? My wealth of knowledge and experience. Working for the County Clerk and studying elections and local government for many years. I’ve been township trustee for the past four years.

What are important issues specific to your race? To be accountable and to make sure the spending is intact. To improve at the same time with buildings and roads. To progress forward.

What do you hope to accomplish if elected? To continue working with the public. To make sure the flow of the township is in good working order. To be available for questions. Continue education by attending statewide township events.

Paul Bloemer

Age: 73

Family: wife Deborah, five children and one stepchild

Education: Machinist certificate, studied business at Lake Land College

Work experience: Retired after 46 years at Adermann’s Welding and Machine

Current offices or offices held in the past: None

Memberships or organization affiliations: VFW, Effingham American Legion Post 120, Teutopolis Knights of Columbus, St. Mary’s Church in Green Creek

Reason for running: One of the trustees leaving nominated me.

What qualifies you for this position? Working as a machinist and a welder I know a lot of people.

What are important issues specific to your race? Check to see where they’re spending the money in the right places.

What do you hope to accomplish if elected? Having known one of the trustees, I’m familiar with what’s going on in the township and believe it will be a good experience.

Zackery Pals

Age: 33

Family: Married to Hayley for almost eight years. Together we have three children, Oliver, Amelia and Evie.

Educational background: Graduated from St. Anthony High School in 2006 and have an associate degree from Lake Land College.

Work experience: I have been an owner/operator at Pals Utility Construction Inc. for eight years alongside my brother, Nick Pals.

Current offices or offices held in the past: None

Memberships or organization affiliations: On the board of directors at Effingham County Sportsman’s Club

What qualifies you for this position? Being a small businesses owner and a board member at Effingham County Sportsman’s Club has given me insight into maintaining a budget while making and meeting new goals.

Reason for running? I believe I can help in making sure Douglas Township continues down the right path.

What do you hope to accomplish if elected? I hope to keep the township in its budget while meeting the expectations of its voters.

Luke Doedtman

Age: 33

Family: My wife is Mallory Doedtman. I have three children, Olivia, 5, Charles, 3, and Eliana, 6 months

Educational background: Teutopolis High School graduate. I have my bachelor’s degree from SIUC in Political Science-International Relations.

Work experience: After graduating college, I worked for the United States Treasury Department. I then became a Financial Planner and am now part owner of Brucke Financial in Teutopolis and Indianapolis.

Current offices or offices held in the past: Current Douglas Township trustee

Memberships or organization affiliations: I was previously the president of St. Mary’s Help of Christian’s parish council, vice president of Effingham Catholic Charities, a CEO mentor and currently an Effingham Unit 40 mentor and Chamber of Commerce member.

Reason for running? I have a strong passion to give back to the Effingham community.

What qualifies you for this position? As a current board member, I feel that I have the experience and knowledge to help move the board forward in a positive direction.

What are important issues specific to your race? Due to the financial instability of the pandemic, it is the board’s responsibility to insure that the budget is appropriately allocated and managed during these unpredictable times.

What do you hope to accomplish if elected? I would like to promote the positive benefits of small government and bring more awareness of the board to the community through social media.

Jose Durbin

Age: 26

Family: Married to Gabriella, who is a local school teacher. We own a home here in Douglas Township, and have a golden doodle named Cooper.

Educational background: Graduate of Eastern Illinois University. I also served as the leader of a statewide organization that educates hundreds of Illinois students on the proper role of government.

Work experience: Growing up, I worked several odd jobs through high school and while putting myself through college. After graduation, I served as Legislative Aide to Sen. Kyle McCarter. Currently, Chief of Staff/ Campaign Manager to Sen. Darren Bailey.

Current offices or offices held in the past: None

Memberships or organization affiliations: I volunteer and serve as a vice chairman of the Effingham County Republicans

Reason for running? I love my community. That’s why my wife and I decided to build our lives and buy a home here. It’s why I’ve decided to run locally. Illinois residents have some of the highest tax burdens in the nation. I believe we can solve many problems at the local level if we are willing to be innovative and think outside the box. I will be an ally to Effingham County’s taxpayers and will always be available and accountable to my community. I will never claim to have all the answers but promise you that I will listen, learn, and do what is best to ensure our community remains a great place to live, work, and raise a family.

What qualifies you for this position? My job allows me to work every day to balance budgets and find solutions. I have unique experience bringing stakeholders to the table and working together to find answers to complex problems. I’m familiar with state and federal programs that could help or negatively impact our community. I understand the struggles of many families who want to invest in our community, and I will bring a fresh and dynamic perspective to help our community prosper.

What are important issues specific to your race? People need tax relief and leaders who will listen and lead. I plan to make this a priority if elected.

What do you hope to accomplish if elected? We need elected officials who will think outside the box. My goal is to make our government more efficient and effective in serving our community better. Working with the community leaders and others on the board, I want to give taxpayers relief and provide better services to our community through innovation and hard work.

Trending Video