Effingham County Republicans nominated four County Board candidates in contested Primary races on last week.
County Board incumbents Joe Thoele, Board District I, and John Perry, District E, won in their races against Mike DePoister and Jeremy Deters, respectively. Thoele won by 100 votes, 493 to 393, against Deters. Perry collected 423 votes against DePoister’s 393 in a close contest.
Norbert Soltwedel won a three-way race for the District A Republican nomination. Soltwedel had 268 votes against 213 cast for Gerry Kinkelaar and 188 for Eric Petty. Board member Lloyd Foster of District A decided not to run for reelection in 2020.
In District F, Elizabeth Huston won over Bruce Kessler in a close race, 329 to 310. Current Board member Jeff Simpson did not run for reelection this year. Board incumbent Rob Arnold was not challenged in District H and gained 854 votes in the March 17 Primary.
Kim Rhodes defeated Gerry Kingery, 3,427 to 2,807, in the Republican County Coroner race last Tuesday. Rhodes was appointed and then elected to a 2-year term in 2018, winning over Kingery. The general election for Coroner in November will determine that officeholder for the next four years.
Other County races on the Republican side of the ballot were uncontested. Circuit Clerk John P. Niemerg collected 5,820 votes, and State’s Attorney Bryan Kibler had 5,722 votes in the Primary.
There were no races for the county offices on the Democratic ballot because no candidates filed for countywide or county board positions. Candidates can be added in coming weeks for the November general election. Turnout for the Primary in this county was 34.15 percent with 8,106 cast. More than 78 percent of those were Republican ballots.
The referendum on the Illinois Separation issue was approved in Effingham County overwhelmingly, 5,638 to 2,001. This means Effingham County Board members can consult with other county officials across the state to work for separating Chicago and Cook County from the rest of the state. Many more steps would be required before any separation was completed.
Voters of both parties also elected precinct committee members. However, there many positions with no candidates and some write-in candidates had votes. More information on the precinct positions will be published in another issue.
There were plenty of candidates on the presidential ballot for Illinois Democrats, but all but three had dropped out of the race before Election Day – Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard. Biden was the favorite among Effingham County Democrats, and he won the state with 919,172 votes. President Donald Trump was the pick in the Effingham County as well as the state. He picked up 6,155 votes in Effingham County.
Mary Miller captured the Republican nomination for the 15th Congressional District with the incumbent John Shimkus not seeking reelection. Miller won the field in Effingham County with 3,289 votes to defeat three other Primary opponents.
Erika Weaver won the Democratic nomination for the 15th District and will oppose Miller in the November 3 election. Weaver was the winner among four candidates in Effingham County, picking up 741 votes.
Republican Mark Curran Jr. will square off against U.S. Senator Dick Durbin in the November Senate election. Durbin was unopposed in the Primary.
The legislative races had Darren Bailey gaining the Republican nomination for the State Senate seat in the 55th District. Adam Niemerg won the GOP nomination in the 109th State Representative Primary. Bailey holds that seat now and decided to run for State Senate. State Rep. Blaine Wilhour was unopposed in his reelection bid for the 107th General Assembly seat.
On the Democratic side, David Seiler is the party nominee for the 107th State Rep. election. John Spencer is the candidate for the 109th General Assembly District. There was no Democratic candidate for the State Senate Primary.