Renner, Biss remain political soulmates despite controversies
Tari Renner and Daniel BissBloomington mayor Tari Renner announced his support for State Sen. Daniel Biss’ candidacy for governor earlier this year at a rally outside the McLean County Museum of History in Bloomington. (Photo by Sam Wood/WJBC)

By Howard Packowitz

BLOOMINGTON – The political marriage continues to flourish between Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner and Democratic candidate for Governor Daniel Biss even though both politicians have recently seen their share of controversy.

Biss said he continues to welcome Renner’s support as the mayor returns from a medical leave of absence, and Renner awaits the findings of an Illinois State Police investigation into the use of a city government credit card.

“I know he was having health problems, and I called him to wish him well,” Biss told WJBC’s Sam Wood.

“Obviously, we’ll have to see how it all turns out, but I know that he’s been a really important progressive advocate. I’m proud of the work he has done, and happy to call him a friend,” said Biss.

Renner said he’s not worried about the police investigation’s outcome. He said a city staffer used a so-called P-card to book a flight for Renner’s girlfriend to accompany him on an official visit to Bloomington-Normal’s Japanese sister city.

The mayor said his girlfriend, Margot Ehrlich was part of Bloomington-Normal’s official delegation, and he said Ehrlich paid back the city for the $1,800 airfare.

However, the city council Monday night is expected to discuss new guidelines for hos the city reimburses elected leaders for conducting government business.

For his part, Renner continues to support Biss, even though the State Senator from Evanston was forced a month ago to dump his running mate for supporting a boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel.

Howard Packowitz can be reached at

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