Denette Dunn announces candidacy for council

Denette Dunn plans to run for the August 27 special election. (Photo courtesy OUAZ)

Less than a month after being appointed as the Pine District councilwoman, Denette Dunn has revealed plans to run for the upcoming special election.

If successful, she will complete former Councilman Carlo Leone’s term.

Dunn previously ran against Leone — who resigned on April 16 due to health reasons — in the 2018 election, but lost by 21% of the vote.

Since Dunn was appointed to his seat April 30, she has focused on improvements and upgrades within her district.

“I am grateful, humbled and honored to be approved to represent the Peoria Pine District, as we are a diverse community full of very hard-working, beautiful people,” Dunn told Peoria Times in May.

“It is an honor to serve the residents of the Pine District. I pledge to work hard every day to keep our neighborhoods safe, enhance the quality of our daily lives and work toward a bright future for Peoria residents.”

Her priorities include addressing increased access to public health and safety service; maintaining and repairing roads and walkways as well as finding solutions for increased public transportation in the densely-populated south; making Americans with Disabilities Act services more affordable; and cleaning up parks while improving amenities.

“I am working hard to meet with those I serve while touring the Pine District with our Peoria department heads and staff to identify and address immediate community needs,” Dunn said. “I am meeting and speaking with residents, listening and gaining more knowledge from my community about what they want from their councilperson and city.”

Dunn, a long-time resident of the Pine District, has a history of serving Peoria. During her career in the disposal and recycling industry, she assisted Peoria’s conversion to curbside recycling, and more recently served on the planning and zoning commission.

She said her background in business and public infrastructure assisted her to provide an informed viewpoint.

“In Peoria, we must balance the maintenance of our systems with the needs of new growth,” Mayor Cathy Carlat said. “Ms. Dunn’s base of knowledge helps her to overcome the steep learning curve of municipal governance and begin the work of supporting her constituents and the needs of the Pine District, without delay.”

The Peoria special election is set for August 27. If no candidate gets 50% of the vote, a regular election will be held November 5.