Twenty-two percent of Carroll County’s registered voters cast ballots in the Tuesday, March 17, Illinois primary election. which had no local contested races.
“Considering the circumstances with the coronavirus, I was pleasantly surprised we had at least that much of a turnout,” said Carroll County Clerk Brian Woessner, adding the number of voters was just a little less than usual for a primary election.
In regards to the pandemic coronavirus COVID-19 sweeping across the United States and entire world, Woessner said all county voting precincts offered sanitizing tissues and everyone was encouraged to wash their hands.
Tabulation of all votes was completed by 9:30 p.m. at the courthouse.
“We just plain didn’t have any equipment problems,” Woessner said about the new election equipment that was used for the time in the primary.
He noted there was no real increase in people participating in early and mail-in voting.
A total of 2,301 ballots out of 10,480 registered voters were cast in Carroll County primary election — 1,217 Republican and 1,084 Democratic.
Associate Judge J. Jerry Kane of Lake Carroll was unopposed for the Republican nomination for resident circuit court judge with 1,098 votes and Lanark attorney Betsy Shaulis was unopposed for the Democratic nomination with 804 votes. Kane and Shaulis will face each other in November to replace Judge Val Gunnarsson, who is retiring.
Countywide Republican candidates who were unopposed in the primary included:
State’s Attorney—incumbent Scott Brinkmeier, 1,087 votes; Circuit Clerk—incumbent Patricia Hiher, 1,113 votes; Sheriff (2-year term)—Ryan Kloepping, who was appointed to replace Jeff Doran, who resigned, 1,124 votes; Coroner—incumbent Matthew Jones, 1,141. No Democrats ran for any of the countywide offices.
Unopposed Carroll County Board candidates included:
Republican—District 1: incumbent Paul Hartman, 271 votes; incumbent Kevin Reibel, 260; District 2: no candidate; District 3: incumbent Joseph Payette, 362 votes; Keith Vandermyde, 316 votes.
Democratic—District 1: no candidate; District 2: incumbent Ronald Preston, 301 votes; District 3: no candidate.
Incumbent Republican 71st State Rep. Tony McCombie of Savanna was unopposed and received 275 votes. She will face Sterling Democrat Joan Padilla in November. Padilla was unopposed and received 354 votes in Carroll County.
Incumbent Republican 89th State Rep. Andrew Chesney of Freeport was unopposed and received 850 votes. There was no Democratic candidate.
Former Vice President Joseph Biden easily won the Democratic nomination over Sen. Bernie Sanders in Illinois, with Carroll County voters favoring Biden 689-270. Republican incumbent President Donald Trump received 1,092 votes.
17th Dist. U.S. Cong. Cheri Bustos (D-East Moline) was unopposed, receiving 985 votes in the county. She will be challenged in November by Esther Joy King of East Moline, who trounced William Fawell of Galena for the Republican nomination by a 65 percent to 35 percent margin, carrying Carroll County 684-403.
Former three-term Lake County sheriff Mark Curran Jr. won a five-way race for the Republican nomination for U.S. senator and will take on long-time Democratic U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin in the November election.
Statewide, Curran received 41 percent of the vote while Peggy Hubbard finished second with 22 percent. In Carroll County, Curran was the top vote-getter with 405 and Hubbard had 286. Durbin was unopposed.