11 months, 3 weeks ago by Denise Donley
Says Adams County Republicans 'waged a war' against him
Ronnie McKenzie, who withdrew his candidacy to run as a Republican for a seat as 1st Ward Alderman of the Quincy City Council, has now filed a petition to run for Quincy School Board.
Ronnie McKenzie filed to run for Quincy School Board Tuesday morning.
McKenzie had pulled out of the race for City Council a few weeks ago because of allegations that he is a convicted felon and that he has not lived in the 1st ward long enough.
Although it was long-time Democratic 1st Ward Alderman Virgil Goehl who lodged the challenged to McKenzie's candidacy, McKenzie said he believes he was not welcomed by Republicans.
McKenzie said he’s not even concerned about the allegations.
“The charge doesn't even qualify. I’m willing to accept any challenges that come up to my campaign. I'm confident knowing I've read the document,” said McKenzie. “I should not have withdrawn from city council. I will be filing as an independent for 1st Ward in the upcoming election because my own party (Republican), in my opinion, waged a war against me. It could be because I’m a black Republican.”
QuincyJournal.com has attempted to contact Adams County GOP Chairman Jim Perry, who has yet to respond.
McKenzie added he plans to file before the December 26 deadline. McKenzie said his “wrongful conviction” shouldn’t matter for either governmental seat.
"The state of Illinois doesn’t recognize me being late on child support as a crime at all,” said McKenzie. “If this state constitution does not recognize that as a crime, then I should be allowed to run for any public office in Illinois."
When asked what he could bring to the Quincy School Board, McKenzie said he really cares.
"I've set in on several board meetings. You actually have to have people on the board that have a sincere love for the children. In my opinion, you should have a kid that's in the school system; you will make better decisions because of that, said McKenzie. “It is my intention to bring common sense policy to the board. I'm originally from Chicago, and some people in Quincy think everything that comes from Chicago is bad. Good ideas come from Chicago and are for the betterment of our children too."
The deadline to file a petition for both Quincy City Council and Quincy School Board is December 26.
Quincy City Clerk Jenny Hayden said she was told by representatives of the Illinois State Board of Elections that there were no compatibility issues between the Quincy City Council and the Quincy School Board as there were with the School Board and the Adams County Board, which led to years of legal wrangling between some current and former School Board members and Melvin "Bud" Niekamp.
Bobbette Cawthon and Rich Jones have also filed School Board petitions.
The seats currently held by Bill Daniels, Tom Dickerson and Steve Krause are up in April. None of the incumbents are seeking re-election.