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Moore, Jackson square off for First District Peoria City Council seat

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PEORIA (WEEK) -- Two candidates remain in the race for Peoria's First District City Council seat.

The race is hotly contested between incumbent Councilwoman Denise Moore and challenger Denise Jackson.

"She's a very nice person. She's just not qualified," Moore said.

Moore has served as First District Councilwoman since 2013. In both of her prior two elections, Moore won at least three-quarters of the general election vote.

This time however, she faces a formidable challenge from Moore, a former reporter at this station.

Both Moore and Jackson advanced from the primary, but Jackson garnered more than double the votes Moore did.

Jackson says it's time for a change on the south side.

"I grew up when my neighborhood, my community was viable, was stable, was economically sound," Jackson said. "Unfortunately, I've watched it deteriorate… We have a moral obligation to leave a community better for the next generation."

Jackson is a life-long resident of Peoria's south side. But Moore says it's her business and political experience that make her the best person for the job.

"Any job you apply for, people look at your qualifications," Moore said. "I would say, look at my qualifications and the results that I've brought."

Some of those accomplishments include new construction developments along Western Avenue. But Jackson says the development took too long to get going -- and that Moore is trying to take credit for her idea.

"We told the First District Councilmember Denise Moore about the history of Western being a business district," Jackson said. "And we said 'hey, do you think you can go to the city council and ask them to redevelop the road?'"

But Moore says that isn't true.

"She's from here, and she never spoke about it," Moore said. "I was the one who put it on the list. It's nice that she recognizes that and would like to take some credit. But she has no credit to take."

Voters will make their choice next week in the April 6 General Election. Both candidates say winning or losing won't stop them from being advocates for Peoria's First District.

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Alex Gaul

Alex Gaul joined WEEK 25 News and Heart of Illinois ABC in January 2021 as a Multimedia Journalist. He formerly worked for KPNX-TV and KAET-TV, both in Phoenix, Arizona. The Illinois-native is an alum of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University.

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