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Latest updates from the campaign:

Wednesday, November 7, 2018 12:00 AM

Political newcomer Kloeppel ready to get to work as first county executive

The Democrat never lost her lead as returns were reported, defeating well-known Republican Gordy Hulten, who has been county clerk since 2011, with nearly 53 percent of the vote.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018 12:00 AM

An Interview with Darlene Kloeppel, Candidate for County Executive

"She believes in the people of Champaign County, too, and she knows that they deserve an Executive who listens to the needs of the people, and who isn’t aligned with the sort of dangerous rhetoric coming from the mouths of the GOP statewide and above."

Wednesday, October 17, 2018 12:00 AM

Elect Kloeppel for County Executive

"The intention of the voters was to create a [county executive] position that would help the county run more effectively and efficiently. That is why I am enthusiastically supporting Darlene Kloeppel to be the first county executive. Darlene has the qualifications and hands-on experience to handle the duties of the new position and get the county into stable financial condition."

- Diane Klock

Wednesday, October 10, 2018 12:00 AM

County Executive Candidates Promise Progress For Champaign County

"Darlene Kloeppel said she believes the change in status quo caused by the county executive’s post will be challenging for county board members. But she argued that her work in the past with executives during the merger of regional hospital systems into Provena Health gave her valuable experience in helping people manage change."

Wednesday, October 10, 2018 12:00 AM

Champaign County Executive Election Questionnaire

"I will strive for more than cooperation and work for collaboration...I will fight hard for seeking workable solutions that are fair for residents and affordable for the county, which is what I've heard voters all around the county say they want to see happen."

Monday, September 24, 2018 12:00 AM

4 Circuit Judge Candidates, 2 County Executive Hopefuls Share Views

"In the last election, voters said they wanted an elected leader who would represent all the county's residents, not just some special interest group or some geographic districts of the county," said Kloeppel..."I want to assure voters that I have the formal education and hands-on experience to handle these duties with confidence and integrity."

Tuesday, September 4, 2018 12:00 AM

Support Kloeppel for County Exec

"I am writing to express my support for Darlene Kloeppel for county executive. I have known Darlene for decades. We have collaborated on a number of projects over the years addressing workforce development, systemic problems in the low-income community and creative solutions to alleviate those community challenges."

- Valerie McWilliams

Friday, August 17, 2018 10:18 PM

Gerard and Schrishuhn Endorse Kloppel for County Executive

Thank you to Don Gerard, former City of Champaign Mayor, and Debra Schrishuhn for their recent endorsements of my campaign for County Executive of Champaign County. Don't forget to check out our endorsement page for an updated list!

Friday, August 17, 2018 12:00 AM

Candidate Profile - Champaign County Voters Alliance

An experienced leader with a strong connection to Champaign County, I consistently find innovative solutions to difficult issues...In short, I bring real-life experience to the job of helping Champaign County get things done.

Friday, August 10, 2018 12:00 AM

Kloeppel Should Be County Executive

"I support Darlene Kloeppel for Champaign County executive. Darlene has the vision, temperament and experience needed to address serious challenges facing the county. She will work with staff, board members and the public to develop a six-year plan to address county finances, facilities, operations, transportation, regional economic development and environmental issues."

- Diane Wolfe Marlin, City of Urbana Mayor

Sunday, July 8, 2018 12:00 AM

Candidate Profile - Champaign Urbana Progressives

The Democratic candidate for County Executive is the subject of this profile, Darlene Kloeppel.

Thursday, June 14, 2018 12:00 AM

Candidate 'is for the people'

"You have heard the expression, 'of the people, by the people and for the people.' As a voter, I am big in 'for the people' and tired of politics that do not live up to that standard. I believe Darlene is the best choice Champaign County residents have for an executive who is 'for the people,' and I encourage you to vote for her in November." - Barbara Sweet

Friday, May 11, 2018 12:28 PM

Kloeppel, Prussing, Danos Support Nursing Home Sale

Urbana, IL – Darlene Kloeppel (candidate for County Executive), Laurel Prussing (candidate for County Treasurer) and George Danos (candidate for County Auditor) announced today that they support the sale of the Champaign County Nursing Home to Altitude Health Services and Extended Care Clinical, LLC.

The three candidates want to strongly encourage the County Board to act now to prevent a worsening of the financial position of the county or even the shuttering of the home. The continued operation of the home by the county is very precarious for a number of reasons that are managerial, operational and financial. There are several key issues that could precipitate a forced closure, devastating to both residents and employees.

Friday, May 11, 2018 12:00 AM

3 Dems seeking countywide offices voice support for sale of nursing home

Three Democratic candidates for countywide offices announced Thursday that they are throwing their support behind the sale of the Champaign County Nursing Home.

Friday, March 30, 2018 12:00 AM

Champaign County Executive Candidates Outline Their Plans For Overcoming Partisan Gridlock

"The Democratic candidate, Darlene Kloeppel, says she would lead county board members to consensus, using experience she gained working with them during her 15 years as Community Services Director for the Champaign County Regional Planning Commission."

Monday, March 19, 2018 12:00 AM

I Think I Can Confront Some of the Issues

“I think I can get the position of county executive off to a good start and confront some of the issues that have been delayed until after the election,” Kloeppel said Saturday in a town hall meeting at the Rantoul Public Library.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018 3:59 PM

Darlene Kloeppel Announces Town Hall Meeting Schedule

URBANA, IL - Darlene Kloeppel, Democratic candidate for the new Champaign County Executive Office, has announced a series of Town Hall meetings to start an open and on-going dialogue with county residents about what they would like to see as the county rolls out this new form of government. She will meet with constituents at locations around the county during February and March, beginning with her hometown of Urbana.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018 5:43 PM

Champaign County Business Empowerment PAC Survey Responses

Recently, Darlene was asked to respond to a series of questions by the Champaign County Business Empowerment PAC. Click here to view a copy of her responses.

Saturday, December 23, 2017 4:40 PM

Wishing Everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Wishing all residents of Champaign County a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!


Tuesday, December 5, 2017 12:00 AM

Two surprises in last day of candidate filings for March primary

Filings for various elected positions were completed yesterday - including my run for County Executive for Champaign County! Don't forget to (1) Register to vote and then (2) VOTE! Together we make Champaign County Stronger!

Monday, November 27, 2017 11:35 AM

Kloeppel Campaign Endorsements

We're honored to announce an on-going list of endorsements of Darlene Kloeppel for County Executive of Champaign County! 

Naomi Jacobsson, former Illinois District 103 State Representative and former Champaign County Recorder of Deeds, observes that “Darlene is a highly qualified candidate and has what it takes to make a substantial impact in this county. It’s wonderful to see such an intelligent and dedicated person as Darlene step forward for this crucial office" and 

Barbara Wysocki, former Champaign County Board Chair, notes that "as a County Board member, I witnessed first-hand Darlene's excellent work habits, her even temper, and her ability to get results. Darlene has a keen sense of Champaign County. We are so fortunate to have a very qualified person wanting to inaugurate this new position."

See below for a comprehensive list of endorsements. I'm honored by their notice and will continue to work to be worthy of their shows of support!

Friday, November 10, 2017 9:30 AM

Democratic Candidate Darlene Kloeppel Endorsed by Urbana Mayor Diane Marlin

Darlene Kloeppel, Democratic candidate for Champaign County Executive, has announced the endorsement of Urbana Mayor Diane Marlin. "Darlene has the experience, common sense, and vision required of a County Executive," said Marlin.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 10:18 AM

Champaign Unit #4 School Board Chair Chris Kloeppel Endorses Mom Darlene Kloeppel for County Executive

Chris Kloeppel, who currently serves as the Chair of the Champaign Unit #4 School Board, officially announced his endorsement today for Democratic candidate for Champaign County Executive, Darlene Kloeppel.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 12:00 AM

PODCAST: Unit 4 School Board President Chris Kloeppel

During the final minutes of his interview with Dave Gentry and Elizabeth Hess on the DWS Morning Show, Unit 4 School Board President Chris Kloeppel discusses his reasons for endorsing Darlene Kloeppel for County Executive for Champaign County. Here's a link to a clip of the close of the interview. To hear the entire Podcast, visit

Sunday, September 24, 2017 12:00 AM

Champaign County Board approves executive's salary at $117,269

Thursday the County Board decided on the highest proposed salary for the County Executive as reported by The News-Gazette. While I‘m on record against starting the salary this high, I commit to being worth every penny when you vote me into office!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017 12:00 AM

News-Gazette editorial on EDGE tax incentives

As County Executive, I will work hard at the county level to impact the broader economic development issues mentioned in this The News-Gazette opinion piece on the new EDGE (Economic Development for a Growing Economy) tax incentive program in Illinois: job growth, tax revenues to fund core government services, and net loss of people moving to IL. As a member of the Economic Development Council, the County has already taken some positive steps. However, I believe that further progress can be made through development of intergovernmental agreements among local units of government and public/private partnerships. A vote for Darlene Kloeppel for County Executive is a vote in favor of improving the economic health of Champaign County.

Thursday, September 14, 2017 12:00 AM

County board gives preliminary OK to $117,269 salary for executive

I’m thrilled that the Champaign County Board has indicated its support for the County Executive to keep needed administrative staff, including a public administrator, to move forward the county’s important projects. However, I’m still interested in the County Executive salary question, and whether the board will increase this year’s administrative budget accordingly.  I hope see you at the next County Board meeting on September 21, at 6:30pm at the Brookens Admin. Center, 1776 E. Washington St., Urbana.

Friday, August 25, 2017 12:00 AM

Candidate For County Elected Executive Says Proposed Salary Is Too High

Thursday, August 24, 2017 12:00 AM

County executive candidate: $117,269 salary too high

Tuesday, August 22, 2017 8:57 PM

Democratic Candidate Darlene Kloeppel Endorsed by Former State Rep. Naomi Jakobsson & Announces Concerns for County Board Setting $117,000 Salary

CHAMPAIGN COUNTY- Darlene Kloeppel, Democratic candidate for Champaign County Executive, has announced the endorsement of Naomi Jakobsson, who served as State Representative of the 103rd District, representing Champaign and Urbana, for 12 years (2003-2015) and as Champaign County Recorder of Deeds for 12 years (1984-1996).
"Darlene is a highly qualified candidate and I believe she has what it takes to make a substantial impact in this county," said Jakobsson. "It's wonderful to see such an intelligent and dedicated person as Darlene step forward for this crucial office. A lot of important values and investments will rely on the quality of person who is elected County Executive and I am certain that Darlene is that person."

Kloeppel served as Director of Community Services for the Champaign County Regional Planning Commission for over 15 years. She has prior financial experience working on the Federal project that integrated hospice services into the Medicare payment system, start-up of some of the first hospices around the United States, and managing annual grants totaling over $11 million. She also assisted in the leadership transition of corporate executives from three merging hospital systems to form Provena Health Care (now Presence) and provided strategic consulting nationally for government agencies and private corporations. She holds advanced degrees in city planning, architecture and social work. With her husband Jim, Kloeppel raised four children in Urbana, including Chris Kloeppel, who currently serves as President of the Champaign Unit 4 School Board.

"With all of the cynicism around politics right now in this country, it’s reassuring to see someone with the integrity of Darlene step forward to lead and to speak out against the unreasonably high salary that was preliminarily recommended by the County Board Committee of the Whole last week," Jakobsson added.

Last Tuesday, by narrow margin, the Champaign County Board Committee of the Whole voted to recommend the approval of a County Executive salary of $117,269. The Board will take a final vote on the issue at Thursday's Champaign County Board Meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the Lyle Shields Board Room at the Brookens Administrative Center at 1776 E. Washington St., Urbana.

Kloeppel noted, "Right now, the county has several looming budget issues that will require tough decisions. It seems wise to me that setting the salary of any position or office should reflect the opportunity to reduce costs if at all possible.”
Many details are still unresolved about how the role of Executive will be carried out as the county makes the transition to the County Executive form of governance. Kloeppel stated, “I urge the County Board to consider starting the salary out for this new office at a modest level to leave some room for future decisions as these details are worked out.” She added, “We need public servants who are motivated by public service rather than higher and higher salaries, and I hope to fill the office regardless of the salary level decided by the County Board.”

The primary election for Champaign County Executive will take place Tuesday, March 20, 2018, and the general election is Tuesday, November 6, 2018. County Executive is a new office created by the narrow passage of a November 2016 countywide referendum. The County Executive will oversee the county administrative staff, have a tie-breaking vote and veto power for County Board resolutions, and make county appointments (with Board approval). The new office will become one of two County Executive offices in the whole state of Illinois, the other one in Will County. Rock Island County briefly repealed the office of Executive in 1996.


Wednesday, August 16, 2017 12:00 AM

Tom Kacich: First hat officially tossed in ring for county-executive job

Check out the recent The News-Gazette article about Darlene Kloeppel's campaign for County Executive of Champaign County!

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