Cheesman will challenge Cox in Ward 7 race for Galesburg City Council
GALESBURG — A new candidate has entered the race for a seat on Galesburg City Council.
Steve Cheesman, a 64-year-old retired teacher and coach from Education District 205, announced on Wednesday that he has filed with the Galesburg Election Commission and will run to represent Ward 7 on Galesburg City Council.
City council member Larry Cox now represents Ward 7 and has also filed with the Galesburg Election Commission to run to maintain his seat. The election for city council members to represent Wards 1, 3, 5 and 7 will take place April 4, 2023.
“I care deeply about my community. I take great pride in living here and I want it to be the very best for me and all those that live here,” Cheesman said on his decision to run in the election.
Cheesman said he has lived in Galesburg all his life and is currently in his seventh year as the director of the Gale Scholars program — a program that provides college tuition scholarships to students through a partnership with District 205, Carl Sandburg College and Knox College.
He is also in his eighth year working as an assistant at the Hinchliff-Pearson-West funeral home in Galesburg. Before then, Cheesman taught 8th grade American history in District 205 for 34 years. He coached baseball, basketball, golf and football for both boys and girls junior high and high school teams for 40 years.
“I enjoy working with people, as an old teacher and coach. That's the main thing that we have to do, is try to make sure that we bring people together for a common goal and to achieve a common goal,” Cheesman said.
“I think a lot of times, and I think this is a really important thing, we say ‘no’ before we ever look at how something is possible, and one of my battle cries is that we need to do all that we can to see if we can make something happen, not say 'no' before we even consider all of the options and opportunities,” Cheesman added.
In order to be on the ballot in the city council election, candidates must acquire a minimum of 25 signatures from the community and file those signatures with the Galesburg Board of Elections by Dec. 19. Candidates must also have lived in the ward they are seeking to represent for at least one year
Ward 7 extends over the northwest side of the city. Cheesman said he has lived in Ward 7 for 35 years.
The other council incumbents — First Ward City Council Member Bradley Hix, Third Ward City Council Member Kevin Wallace and Fifth Ward City Council Member Jaclyn Smith-Esters — have also filed with the Galesburg Election Commission to run in the April election.