Low voter turnout for primary

Amid concerns about COVID-19, voter turnout was lower than expected across Monroe County for the primary. 

Not including the fewer than 100 ballots sent to the county’s nursing homes and a few mail-in ballots, 5,205 individuals voted, with all of the results in Tuesday night.   

That means about 19.5 percent of the voters participated in this primary. 

“It’s definitely a lighter turnout and lighter than we anticipated,” Monroe County Clerk Jonathan McLean said halfway through the day. “The coronavirus concerns are keeping people at home.” 

“It’s kind of a shame we weren’t able to get a little bit more,” he added.

There were 1,039 early votes counted and 146 mail-in ballots, with one being disqualified because it was not properly completed.

Election results

Republican David Friess of Red Bud will challenge Democrat Nathan Reitz of Steeleville for the 116th state representative race. 

With all precincts reporting by Wednesday morning, Friess received 2,947 votes across the district compared to 1,921 for David Holder of Baldwin and 2,215 for Kevin Schmidt of Millstadt. 

That means Friess had 41.6 percent of votes compared to Holder’s 27.1 percent and Schmidt’s 31.3 percent. 

In Monroe County, Schmidt won with 1,059 votes compared to Friess’ 1,029 and Holder’s 525.

That means Schmidt had 40.53 percent of the votes in this county to Friess’ 39.38 percent and Holder’s 20.09 percent. 

In the Democratic primary for U.S. representative, Raymond Lenzi of Makanda holds a slim lead over Joel Funk of Mascoutah with all but 11 precincts of 649 left to report. Lenzi holds a lead of 51.5 percent to 48.5 percent.   

In Monroe County, Funk had 1,125, or 58.14 percent, of the votes compared to Lenzi’s 882, or 41.86 percent.

The winner of that contest will face Republican Mike Bost in November. 

In the race for U.S. Senate, Republican Mark Curran looks to be the winner.

He has 41.5 percent of the votes with 99 percent of precincts reporting. Next up is Peggy Hubbard with 22.9 percent, followed by Robert Marshall with 15.4 percent, Tom Tarter with 14.7 percent and Casey Chlebek with 5.5 percent.

Hubbard, a Belleville resident, won Monroe County with 899 votes, which was good for 36.05 percent. Curran came in second with 815 votes or 32.68 percent. Next up was Marshall with 339 votes (13.59 percent), Tarter with 334 (13.39 percent) and Chlebek with 107 votes (4.29 percent). 

The winner of that race faces Democrat Dick Durbin in November. 

Finally, in the presidential election, Joe Biden won Illinois over Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary. 

With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Biden had 59.1 percent of the votes statewide, compared to Sanders’ 36.1 percent. 

In Monroe County, Biden got 1,555 votes (62.45 percent) and Bernie Sanders received 778 (31.24 percent). 

The winner of that primary will face President Donald Trump in November. 

In uncontested races, Republican Terri Bryant was unopposed in her bid for the state senate seat currently held by Paul Schimpf of Waterloo, as were Republicans George Green in his bid for Monroe County Commissioner, Bob Hill for Monroe County coroner, Lisa Fallon for Monroe County circuit clerk, Chris Hitzemann for 20th Circuit Judicial candidate and Ryan Martin for Monroe County state’s attorney. 

Rep. Bost was also unopposed. 

For Democrats, Monroe County state’s attorney candidate Celeste Korando and county commissioner candidate Duane Langhorst were uncontested, as was Reitz for his state representative spot. 

Two Republican primary judicial races were also decided late Tuesday night.

In the primary race for Illinois Supreme Court, David Overstreet defeated John Barberis by a margin of 76 to 24 percent.

In the primary race for a seat on the Fifth District Appellate Court, Mark Boie leads Katherine Ruocco by a margin of 54 to 46 percent with all but one of the 37 southern Illinois counties in the district reporting.

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James Moss

James is an alumni of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville where he graduated summa cum laude with degrees in mass communications and applied communications studies. While in school, he interned at two newspapers and worked at a local grocery store to pay for his education. When not working for the Republic-Times, he enjoys watching movies, reading, playing video games and spending time with his friends.
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