Context:  Incumbent Jim Ardis had served as Peoria’s mayor since 2005 and was seeking his fourth term in office this election. He was challenged by Couri Thomas.

Roles and Responsibilities of MayorThe mayor shall preside at all city council meetings and ceremonial occasions. The mayor shall be recognized as the official head of the city by the courts for the purpose of serving civil process and by the governor for all legal purposes. The post is a 4 year term. The position is part-time and is compensated with an annual salary of $55,080 and a $475 monthly automobile allowance. (Source: City of Peoria Code of Ordinances)

Candidates (2)


Jim Ardis (Winner)
Age 56
Current Employment Executive Director of Strategic Development, CGN Global
City of Peoria Mayor
Education B.S., Illinois State University (Industrial Technology)
Residence 6141 N Evergreen Circle (District 4)
Endorsements Peoria Journal Star, Congressman Darin LaHood, Senator Dave Koehler, Representative Ryan Spain, Representative Jehan Gordon-Booth, retired Representative David Leitch, former US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood.
Why do you want to be mayor? I have a strong passion for Peoria. I was born and raised here. I stayed here after college and the recession in the early 80’s. I was married and raised my family here and hope they will do the same. We have a number of significant issues to deal with, education, crime, poverty, economic development and others. Just like every other city. But we have many things going for us to. A strong medical community, an educated and trained workforce and a willingness to bring our diverse community together and make it better.
What are your top priorities, if elected? My priorities have always been public safety, supporting and creating education opportunities and job/economic development.
How will you use your power as mayor to advance these priorities? It is incumbent on the Mayor to work with the entire council to try to form consensus and move forward. The Mayor also has to have the respect of the community to participate as well. I have developed both and will continue to work with everyone to advance our community priorities.
What sets you apart from other candidates in the race? Experience. On the private side I have been a small business owner, worked in large and small corporate atmospheres, served on many community boards and commissions, founded Peoria Promise and held elected office for nearly 18 years.
Campaign Website:
Campaign Contributions: Jim Ardis for Council Committee

Related Media:
Peoria Mayoral Candidates Speak Out (WMBD-TV, 3/31/17)
Editorial endorsement: Peoria mayor (Peoria Journal Star, 3/25/17)
Peoria mayoral race a classic case of experience vs. change (Peoria Journal Star, 3/23/17)
Peoria’s primary might be behind us by the next election (Peoria Journal Star, 3/19/17)
Not a sleepy race for Peoria mayor any more (Peoria Journal Star, 3/5/17)
Peoria candidates’ topics include Caterpillar, water, Riverfront Park (Peoria Journal Star, 3/1/17)
Jim Ardis, Couri Thomas will face off in Peoria mayor’s race (Peoria Journal Star, 2/28/17)
Candidate profile: Jim Ardis stresses experience in mayoral race (Peoria Journal Star, 2/7/17)
Election 2017: Peoria mayoral candidate Jim Ardis (Peoria Journal Star, 2/7/17)
Peoria mayoral candidates spar over city’s future (Peoria Journal Star, 2/4/17)

Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis confirms he’ll seek a record fourth term (Peoria Journal Star, 8/29/16)



Couri Thomas
Age 39
Current Employment Peoria Area Food Bank, Warehouse Supervisor
Education Peoria Central High School
Residence District 2
Endorsements Change Peoria
Why do you want to be mayor?  To make the city work for every citizen in every district.
What are your top priorities, if elected? Bring wealth to Peoria by investing in scalable business and worker training to meet the needs of our businesses.
How will you use your power as mayor to advance these priorities? By connecting people and resources within our community so that we can set
and reach goals together.

What sets you apart from other candidates in the race? We need bold leadership with vision and fresh ideas to fall in love with Peoria again.
Campaign Website: www.couriformayor.com
Campaign Contributions: 
N/A

Related Media:
Peoria Mayoral Candidates Speak Out (WMBD-TV, 3/31/17)
Peoria mayoral race a classic case of experience vs. change (Peoria Journal Star, 3/23/17)
Not a sleepy race for Peoria mayor any more (Peoria Journal Star, 3/5/17)
Peoria candidates’ topics include Caterpillar, water, Riverfront Park (Peoria Journal Star, 3/1/17)
Jim Ardis, Couri Thomas will face off in Peoria mayor’s race (Peoria Journal Star, 2/28/17)
Candidate profile: For Couri Thomas, mayoral race about ‘communication’ and ‘community’ (Peoria Journal Star, 2/9/17)
Election 2017: Peoria mayoral candidate Couri Thomas (Peoria Journal Star, 2/9/17)
Peoria mayoral candidates spar over city’s future (Peoria Journal Star, 2/4/17)
Peoria Resident to Run for Mayor (1470 WMBD, 11/21/16)


G. Marie Kennell was eliminated through the Primary Election and was not on the General Election Ballot on April 4, 2017.

G. Marie Kennell
 
Age
Current Employment KT Realty
Education
Residence Downtown, District 1
Endorsements USW 960
Why do you want to be mayor? Stop the bad decisions that has led Peoria down the path of the worst place for African Americans to live and work, and top city in the NATION for crime. Put an end to cronyism and top down policies advancing a few. 
What are your top priorities, if elected?  Creating more green-space, rolling back high regulation and taxes, working with local experts in the community with an open-door policy. Advancing Peoria in a pro-active agenda instead of re-active.
How will you use your power as mayor to advance these priorities? With open -door policy will create a communication between city hall and citizens to advance the priorities most advantageous to Peoria’s future and citizens.
What sets you apart from other candidates in the race? First my expertise in negotiations between parties, real estate experience can bring valuable skill to the community as we move forward as a city. I would also like to change the requirement of number of terms for a mayor to serve down to two, instead of a lifetime. 
Campaign Website: http://kennell4mayor.vote/
Campaign Contributions: N/A
Related Media:
City candidates address need for change with Peoria landlords (Peoria Journal Star, 2/26/17)
Candidate profile: G. Marie Kennell critical of Peoria’s direction (Peoria Journal Star, 2/8/17)
Election 2017: Peoria mayoral candidate G. Marie Kennell (Peoria Journal Star, 2/8/17)

Peoria mayoral candidates spar over city’s future (Peoria Journal Star, 2/4/17)
G. Marie Kennell reverses decision; will stay in Peoria mayor race (Peoria Journal Star, 1/11/17)

G. Marie Kennell kicks off campaign for Peoria mayor (Peoria Journal Star, 11/29/16)