LOCAL

Springfield city treasurer announces run for mayor for 2023, challenging Langfelder

Zach Roth
State Journal-Register

Springfield city treasurer Misty Buscher announced Friday that she would run for mayor next year, making her the first person to step in opposition to incumbent Jim Langfelder for his fight for a third term.

Misty Buscher.

Buscher, 51, has served as city treasurer since 2015 after more than 20 years in the city's banking industry. She was a vice president for Marine Bank when she defeated former mayor and Ward 1 Alderman Frank Edwards.

Though city elections are nonpartisan, Buscher ran with the endorsement of the Sangamon County Democratic Party, which proved to be problematic the next year, when she identified as Republican and endorsed Donald Trump in his first run for the presidency. 

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That earned her criticism from her opponent in 2019 for the treasurer's chair, Jennifer Notariano, who had been active in local Democratic politics. Buscher, however, won in a landslide, getting nearly three-quarters of the vote for re-election.

If elected, she would be the second woman to serve as mayor, after Karen Hasara served two terms from 1995 to 2003. She is the fifth woman to serve in elected city office and the second to serve as treasurer, with Judy Madonia serving in the role from 1987 to 2003. The other two women to serve in city office are Cecelia Tumulty, who was city clerk from 2003 to 2015 and her direct predecessor Norma Graves, who served from 1987 to 2003.

In a statement, Buscher said that her experience as treasurer and her passion for helping Springfield were among the reasons why she put her hat in the ring for mayor.

"My demonstrated leadership skills and desire to make this community a better place are what inspired me to run for mayor," Buscher said. "I will be listening to you, the taxpayers, on what you expect from your mayor, and I will work tirelessly to turn your dreams into reality.

Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder

"We have amazing citizens, caring first responders and health care workers, dedicated business leaders, skilled union workers and collaborative politicians in our community. It is time for a leader to support and work with these groups to create a better Springfield!"

Langfelder said Saturday that competition from people like Buscher wasn't unexpected, saying that he wanted to continue the city's progress and bring people together.

"It's about, 'How do we lift all of Springfield up to the city we all want it to be?'" Langfelder said. "We're compared to other capital cities and we're moving in that direction. When you look around, there's development happening all over. We're ahead of other communities with regards to the (COVID-19) pandemic rebounding and that's due to our strong foundation. 

"I challenged all of our departments, 'How do we move forward into a post-pandemic future?' That's where (we want) the quality of life moving forward in that direction."

The filing period is Nov. 21-28. If there are more than four candidates for a single office, a primary will be held Feb. 28 in advance of the April 4 consolidated general election.

Contact Zach Roth: (217) 899-4338; ZDRoth@gannett.com; @ZacharyRoth13