Open main menu

Tari Renner is an American politician and academic. He is currently the Mayor of Bloomington, Illinois and a professor of political science at Illinois Wesleyan University.

Tari Renner
Mayor of Bloomington, Illinois
Assumed office
May 2013 (2013-05)
Preceded bySteve Stockton
Personal details
BornMiami Beach, Florida
Political partyDemocratic
ResidenceBloomington, Illinois
Alma materUniversity of South Florida (B.A.)
American University (M.A., Ph.D.)
ProfessionPolitical Scientist

Academic careerEdit

Renner earned a bachelor of arts degree in political science from the University of South Florida in 1978 and his masters and doctorate degrees from American University School of Public Affairs.[1] In 1994, he became chair of the political science department at Illinois Wesleyan University. Prior to teaching at Illinois Wesleyan he taught at Washington College and Duquesne University with a brief hiatus from academia to work as the Director of Research for the International City/County Management Association.[2]

According to his official biography, he has published thirty articles and books.[3]He has been cited in the Chicago Tribune twice; first on the 1995 Chicago mayoral election[4] and later when Condoleezza Rice stumped for George W. Bush in Illinois' North Shore during the 2000 election.[5]

Political careerEdit

In 1998, Renner was elected to the McLean County Board.[2] In 2004, Renner was the Democratic candidate for Illinois's 11th congressional district against Republican incumbent Jerry Weller. The district, at that time, included Kankakee, Will, Grundy, LaSalle, Bureau counties and the Bloomington–Normal area. Renner received 121,819 votes to Weller's 172,975 votes.[6]

In 2009, Renner ran for Mayor of Bloomington against Steve Stockton. During the election he was endorsed by Senator Dick Durbin.[7] Stockton won by a margin of 15 votes. Renner resigned from the county board in January 2010 as he moved to another part of Bloomington.[8] He was appointed to the McLean County Regional Planning Commission. [9]

In 2013, he won a three-way race with 51% of the vote (John Hanson received 36% and Lex Green received 13%).[2] [10]

In 2017, he was reelected with 48% of the vote in a 5 candidate race and then 57% in the runoff between the top two vote getters. [11]

In both elections it should be noted that less than 20% of voters elected to vote.

After the United States withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, Renner and Chris Koos, the Mayor of Normal, Illinois, signed a commitment to follow through on the goals of the Paris Agreement.[12] Renner endorsed Daniel Biss for the Governor of Illinois in the 2018 election.[13]

A single citizen complaint was filed against Mayor Renner regarding a plane ticket on the Sister City trip to Japan of 2017. All of the trip arrangements were made by city staff and were never put on the Mayor's city credit card. His partner Margot Ehrlich was on the trip and reimbursed the City for over two months before the trip began. However, for complicated technical reasons an investigation was triggered by Illinois State Police[14] for the use of a staff credit card to purchase the plane ticket for Ms. Ehrlich (who clearly was a self proclaimed official member of the Sister City delegation representing University High School and Metcalf Elementary, she also met with administrative officials to further the educational relationships between the two cities).

In February 2015 (2-21-15) Renner was rebuked by the council (9-0) in a resolution as a result of a response to a far Right blogger who began to involve his son in attacks.

At the city council meeting of October 23, 2017, a 2nd letter of rebuke was given to the Mayor by six aldermen because Renner referred to a complainant as "crazy" and "pathetic."[15]


  1. ^ Waterstraat Keegan, Kirstin (April 26, 2001). "Killian Education Transportation Club awards $5,000 in grants". The Pantagraph. Bloomington, Illinois. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Wells, Rachel (April 9, 2013). "Tari Renner wins Bloomington mayoral race by 1,500 votes". The Pantagraph. Bloomington, Illinois. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
  3. ^ "Tari Renner, Ph.D.: Professor of Political Science". Illinois Wesleyan University. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
  4. ^ Kirby, Joseph A.; Grove, Ben (February 13, 1995). "Every Cent Counts For Gardner: Mayoral Candidate Tries To Win On A Shoestring Budget". Chicago Tribune. Chicago, Illinois. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
  5. ^ Zelany, Jeff; Miller, Sabrina (November 1, 2000). "Bush Sends Adviser To Court Undecideds On North Shore". Chicago Tribune. Chicago, Illinois. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
  6. ^ "Illinois House of Representatives". Chicago Tribune. Chicago, Illinois. November 4, 2004.
  7. ^ Steinbacher, Michele (March 22, 2009). "Democrat Durbin endorses Tari Renner for Bloomington mayor". The Pantagraph. Bloomington, Illinois. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
  8. ^ Miranda, Carlos T. (January 19, 2010). "Renner announces resignation from county board". The Pantagraph. Bloomington, Illinois. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
  9. ^ "A look at the candidates: Bloomington mayor". The Pantagraph. Bloomington, Illinois. March 17, 2013. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ McCurdy, Mike (June 9, 2017). "Bloomington-Normal Mayors Sign Climate Pledge". WGLT. Normal, Illinois: Illinois State University. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
  13. ^ "Morning Spin: Chicago aldermen want to punish parents who know their kids have guns". Chicago Tribune. Chicago, Illinois. July 27, 2017. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
  14. ^ Denham, Ryan (August 17, 2017). "State Police Investigating Renner's Trip To Japan". WGLT 89.1 FM. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  15. ^ Harrison, Lindsey (October 23, 2017). "Alderman express disappointment at Mayor's actions in letter". Retrieved 16 November 2017.