Republicans win big in Monroe County

Republicans’ dominance of Monroe County government will continue, as both GOP candidates won their elections here Tuesday. 

Republican George Green of Maeystown beat Democrat Duane Langhorst of Fults for the seat on the Monroe County Board currently occupied by Republican Bob Elmore. 

Green received 67.84 percent of the vote, while Langhorst got 32.16 percent. That means 13,896 people voted for Green, while 6,588 voted for Langhorst. 

Green pledged to keep his campaign promise of “Keep Monroe County Great” and provide “service to the people” now that he has been elected. 

Republican Lucas Liefer also bested Democrat Celeste Korando to succeed Republican Chris Hitzemann as Monroe County state’s attorney. 

Liefer, of Red Bud, received 71.92 percent of the vote compared to Waterloo resident Korando’s 28.08 percent, with 14,835 individuals choosing Liefer compared to 5,793 selecting Korando. 

“I’ll work hard like I promised I would,” Liefer vowed after his win. “I won’t let Monroe County down.” 

Those county numbers are with almost all the votes counted, with Monroe County Clerk Jonathan McLean estimating only around 300-400 ballots remain uncounted. Those are various types of ballots, such as provisional or mail-in.  

There are not enough uncounted votes to change the outcome of these races. 

In the regional races, Republican David Friess won the race to represent the 116th district in the Illinois House of Representatives after getting 64.9 percent of the votes to incumbent Democrat’s Nathan Reitz’s 35.1 percent. 

Those numbers are with all precincts reporting. 

Friess garnered 34,378 votes overall and Reitz earned 18,589. In Monroe County, 67.3 percent of voters went with Friess and 32.7 percent selected Reitz. 

“The people of the 116th district are ready to end the cycle of corruption and tax increases in Springfield,” Friess said. “I owe this victory to the hard work and dedication of our supporters, and I will not let you down on pushing for ethics reform, holding the line on taxes, and ending reckless spending. I thank Nathan Reitz for his service and wish him the best.”  

For area judicial races, Republican David Overstreet beat Democrat Judy Cates with 94.9 percent of precincts reporting. 

He had 62.9 percent of the vote to Cates’ 37.1 percent for the seat on the 5th District Illinois Supreme Court. 

Monroe County residents went with Overstreet over Cates, with 68.4 percent of voters selecting the Republican and 31.6 percent choosing the Democrat. 

In the race for the 5th District Appellate Court seat vacated by Melissa Chapman, Republican Mark Boie won with 60 percent of the vote compared to Democrat Sarah Smith’s 40 percent. 

That was with 95 percent of precincts reporting. 

Monroe County sided with Boie overall, with 66.56 percent of voters preferring him to the 33.44 percent of people who voted for Smith. 

At the state level, it appears the graduated income tax amendment did not pass. 

With 98 percent of precincts reporting, 44.9 percent of the votes for that measure have been yes, while 55.1 percent have been no. 

Monroe County residents overwhelmingly went with the majority, with 75.52 percent of people opposing the constitutional amendment. 

For it to pass, the amendment must be ratified by 60 percent of those voting on the amendment or a majority of those voting in the election if it does not meet that 60 percent threshold. 

At the federal level, incumbents Mike Bost and Richard Durbin have kept their jobs. 

Bost, a Republican who represents much of southern Illinois in the House of Representatives, had 61.2 percent of the vote in his district . Challenger Ray Lenzi, a Democrat, had 38.8 percent of the vote. 

That is with 98 percent of precincts reporting. 

“I could not be prouder of the campaign we ran – a campaign focused on our record and our positive vision for southern Illinois,” Bost said. “Congratulations to Ray Lenzi and his team for a hard-fought campaign. Serving the people of southern Illinois in Congress has been the honor of a lifetime, and I thank the people of this district for giving me the honor of representing them for another two years in Congress.”

Monroe County also sided with the majority in this race, with 72.5 percent of votes picking Bost over the 27.5 percent who went with Lenzi. 

The county went against the majority in the senate race, as Durbin, a Democrat, beat Republican Mark Curran 52.3 percent to 41 percent with 88 percent of precincts reporting.

Monroe County chose Curran, with 65.79 percent of residents voting for him and 31.85 percent picking Durbin. 

The final federal race is for president, and the winner was not known as of press time. 

Democrat Joe Biden led Republican Incumbent Donald Trump with 248 electoral college votes compared to Trump’s 214 electoral college votes. 

That number, however, does not include millions of ballots that have not yet been counted in various state, including mail-in ballots. 

Overall, turnout for this election was the highest it has been for some time. 

In Monroe County, 78.4 percent of registered voters participated, which is the highest rate in recent memory. After the remaining votes are counted, participation will be over 79 percent. 

“I want to thank all the voters,” Monroe County Republican Central Committee Chairman Ed McLean said. “This was an unprecedented year to try to campaign and also, with the record voter turnout in this county, this is tremendous. The Republican Party will continue to find qualified, electable and committed individuals to maintain the safety, the schools and the economy for this county.” 

All told, 21,137 people had their votes counted here by Nov. 3.  

Just less than half those votes were early votes or votes by mail.  

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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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