Brian Foley is in line to become the next Tazewell County coroner, but it's a temporary assignment — only eight months in 2018. That's fine with him.
"I think an interim position is where I need to be for myself and the people of Tazewell County," Foley, a Minier resident, said Tuesday morning. "Family is the biggest thing.
"I don't know if I want to run an election right now. Running an election takes a lot of time, and that's probably the biggest issue."
Should the Tazewell County Board affirm Foley's appointment as coroner, the 29-year-old will have plenty of time to think about it, even before he takes office.
The married father of a 14-month-old boy is the Tazewell County Republican Party pick to succeed Jeff Baldi, whose resignation becomes official March 30. Foley is a deputy coroner in McLean County and a township fire chief there.
Foley would serve as Tazewell County coroner until the end of November. The winner of an election that month is to fill the final half of Baldi's current four-year term.
The County Board is expected to consider Foley next week, after its executive committee does the same thing Wednesday.
The executive board of the Tazewell County GOP interviewed Foley and four other candidates last week at a Pekin restaurant. Like Baldi, the interim coroner must be a Republican. The County Board also stipulated the nominee not run for election next year.
According to the county GOP chairwoman, Foley was a pleasant surprise.
"When this gentleman left, we're like, 'Where did this guy come from?'" said Mary Burress, who also is Tazewell County treasurer. "He walked in with great confidence but not overconfidence, and he spoke from the heart. Every question was right on.
"Every one of us was like, 'Wow, I really like this guy's personality. I think he has compassion. He knows how to run a business. He knows how to work in the coroner's office.' It impressed us all."
A 2007 graduate of Olympia High School in rural Stanford, Foley helps operate a farm near Danvers. He became a deputy coroner in January. That part-time job involves reporting to death scenes on nights and weekends and conducting preliminary investigations.
"In Tazewell County, they deserve somebody who cares and respects what's going on," Foley said. "Somebody who's got the training that can help them through difficult times and investigate the deaths.
"I'm always about families and taking care of the people and making sure they are as comfortable as they can be during those difficult times. Everybody's looking for answers at the time of a death. That's what we do in the coroner's office, figure out why and if something can be prevented."
If the County Board selects him, Foley said he intends to meet with Baldi regularly between now and next March. Foley doesn't expect to make drastic changes, but he said he'll deal with glitches as they arise.
Depending on his family situation and on how the interim coroner's job goes, Foley didn't rule out an attempt at a more permanent position.
"I love being a deputy coroner," he said. "If I fall in love with being the coroner, there's nothing stating that down the road I won't run."
The County Board accepted Baldi's resignation in August. That started a 60-day period during which Baldi's successor is to be selected.
There are three Republicans from Pekin who have emerged as candidates for the final two years of Baldi's term — firefighter Steve Bresnahan, funeral director Charles Hanley and Tazewell deputy coroner Scott Price. No Democrats have declared candidacies.