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Champaign’s three mayoral candidates meet in Illinois Public Media forum

Left to right: Champaign mayoral candidates Don Gerard, Deborah Frank Feinen (incumbent), and Azark David Cobbs participate in a forum at IPM studios in March 2023.

Champaign voters have three candidates for mayor to choose from in the April 4, 2023 election. And all three — Azark David Cobbs, Deborah Frank Feinen and Don Gerard met in the Illinois Public Media radio studios for a one-hour forum recorded on March 4.

The forum airs Friday, March 10 on WILL-AM 580 at 11:00 a.m. and on WILL-FM 90.9 at 6:00 p.m.

Cobbs’ professional background is in management and computer programming. He previously ran for mayor in 2019. Feinen is an attorney and the current mayor, seeking her third term. Gerard was a facilities manager at the University of Illinois, until his recent retirement. He served as mayor from 2011 until 2015. 

During their appearance at the IPM forum, the three candidates answered questions from moderator Jim Meadows on police issues, including questions about staffing, handling mental health emergencies, and treatment of African-Americans. They also commented on the city of Champaign’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

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Jim Meadows

Jim Meadows

Jim Meadows has been covering local news for WILL Radio since 2000, with occasional periods as local host for Morning Edition and All Things Considered and a stint hosting WILL's old Focus talk show. He was previously a reporter at public radio station WCBU in Peoria.

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