The field of candidates in the April 2015 Du Quoin city council election grew to 10 Monday with an announcement by former Du Quoin Police Department detective Gerry Whitley that he is a candidate for commissioner.
At this writing the announced candidates include Whitley, Joe Stephens, Dale Spencer, Mike Ward, Chuck Genesio and John Tilley. Incumbent Yvonne Morris has a petition in her possession. So does one-time commissioner Angie Roach. Candidates for mayor include incumbent Red Duncan and one-time finance commissioner Guy Alongi.
In his announcement, Whitley said:
"My name is Gerry Whitley Jr. and at this time, I would like to announce that I am running for a seat on the Du Quoin City Council.
I was born and raised in Du Quoin and I love this town. I graduated from Du Quoin High School in 1986. I am also a graduate of John A. Logan College - Carterville. I am the son of Gerry and Marsha Whitley. I have been married to Laura (Hill) Whitley for 19 years and we have two daughters, Katrina and Olivia.
I served in the active duty Army from January 1988 to December 1991 as a military policeman. I worked for the Illinois Department of Corrections from May 1992 -October 1996 at Menard Correctional Center in Chester. While at Menard Correctional Center, I was a member of the Tactical Response Team.
From October 1996 - February 2010 I was a loyal servant of the City of Du Quoin with the Du Quoin Police Department. While serving with the police department I worked routine patrol duties and was later promoted to Sergeant. I then attained the position of Detective Sergeant and was a member of the Perry County Drug Task Force.
In 2005 I re-enlisted in the Illinois Army National Guard as a Switching Systems Operator/Maintainer. From September 2008 - September 2009, I was deployed to Afghanistan for "Operation Enduring Freedom." During that time I worked on a personal security detail. I have held the positions of Network Node Team Chiefs Network Site Supervisor, Network Operations Chief and Squad Leader. I currently hold the position of Platoon Sergeant with C Co 33rd BTSB.
I am currently employed by Prairie State Generating Company at the Lively Grove Mine as a roof bolter/continuous miner operator. I am also the chairman of the Employee Safety and Health Advisory Group.
I am a citizen of Du Quoin and I believe the citizens of Du Quoin are entitled to outstanding leadership. I want to provide that. Communication is key and I would like for that to work both ways; I promise to be an active listener. I will place the needs of our community first. Fairness and consistency is what I strive for. I have always been, and will continue to be, loyal to my community.
Common sense, facts and logic is how I was raised. I believe if you apply these principles in any given situation you will be okay!"