Metro East news briefs

Joe Biden

Biden wins 60 percent in Metro East primaries

Echoing results of March 17 Democratic presidential primary balloting across Illinois, former Vice President Joe Biden easily won Metro East; garnering up to nearly two-thirds of ballots cast.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders came in second across the area with about a quarter of the Democratic primary vote.

In Madison County, Biden attracted support from 15,587 voters, or 60.84 percent of the party electorate. Sen. Sanders received 8,583 votes or 33.5percent.  Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (386, 1.51 percent) and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (340, 1.33 percent) were the only other candidates, among the 12 on the Democratic presidential primary ballot in Illinois, to secure at least one percent of the Madison County vote.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii — the only other candidate still actively in the race with Biden and Sanders at the time of the primary — drew 165 votes or 0.64percent of the ballots cast in Madison County.

In St. Clair County, Biden won with 65percent or 16,186 votes. Sanders was supported by 27percent or 6,787 voters.

Also attracting at least one percent of voters in the county: Bloomberg (502, 2 percent) Warren (324, 1 percent), former South Bend Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg (147, 1 percent), and Gabbard (134, 1 percent)

In Monroe County, Biden attracted 1,555 voters or 62.45percent of the Democratic electorate. Sen. Sanders garnered 778 or 31.24percent percent; Bloomberg, 50 or 2.01percent. Also attracting at least 1 percent of the Monroe County Democratic primary vote: Sen. Warren (37, 1.49 percent) and Buttigieg (29, 1.12 percent). Gabbard received 9 or 0.36 percent of the Madison County vote.

President Donald Trump — who defeated challenger Roque De La Fuente in the Illinois Republican primary with 96 percent of the statewide vote — won in Monroe County with 98 percent, Madison County with 97 percent and St. Clair County with 95 percent.

Voter turnout was about on par with previous primaries across Metro East— 20 percent in Madison and St. Clair counties; 19.5 percent in Monroe — despite fears of COVID-19 virus infection.

Because county clerks’ offices must accept mail-in ballots through March 31, final primary election canvases cannot be completed until that time and final election results could vary from those initially released following the election.

Summaries of unofficial results for other races across Metro East follow.

Senate Republican race

Republican Mark Curran won the right to challenge incumbent U.S. Sen. Dick Durban in the Nov. 3 general election, by drawing 200,587 votes or 41.5percent of the GOP primary ballots cast.

However, political novice Peggy Hubbard of Belleville finished a reasonably strong second with 110,718 or 22.9percent. Hubbard won her home turf of St. Clair County with 3,326 votes or 35percent of the GOP primary ballots.

Results for others on the Republican Senate primary ballot: Robert Marshall, 74,320, 15.4percent; Tom Tarter, 71,318, 14.7percent; Casey Chlebek – 26,767, 5.5percent.

Local congressional races

In Illinois’ U.S. House District 12, Democrat Raymond Lenzi narrowly secured the right to challenge incumbent Republican Rep. Michael Bost in the fall.  Lenzi garnered 27,002 or 51.5percent percent of the Democratic primary vote. His primary rival, Joel Funk, drew 25,381 or 48.5percent.

Raymond Lenzi

In U.S. House District 13, Democrat Betsey Dirksen Londrigan drew 47,637 or 76.4percent of the primary vote to defeat Stefanie Smith who attracted 14,687 or 23.6percent. Londrigan will challenge Republican incumbent Rep. Rodney L. Davis in the fall general.

In Congressional District 15, this fall, Democrat Erika Weaver will vie with Republican Marry Miller to succeed retiring Republican Rep. John Shimkus.

Weaver drew 17,494 votes or 51.9percent of last week’s Democratic primary vote; outpacing Kevin Gaither (7,550, 22.4 percent), Craig Morton (6,485, 19.2 percent), and John Hursey (2,200, 6.5 percent).

Miller attracted 47,834 voters, or 56.6percent of the GOP primary vote, to outdistance fellow Republicans Darren Duncan (18,170, 21.5 percent), Kerry Wolff (12,310, 14.6 percent), and Chuck Ellington (6,160, 7.3 percent).

State legislative races

In Illinois State House District 95, incumbent State Rep. Avery Bourne garnered 6,941 votes or 85.5percent of the Republican primary tally to withstand a challenge from Lawrence Oliver (1,175, 14.5 percent).

Betsey Dirksen Londrigan

In the 116th State House District, incumbent Democratic Staten Rep. Nathan Reitz of Steeleville will be challenged in the fall by Republican David Friess.  Friess received 2,947 votes or 41.6 percent of the total in last week’s GOP primary; defeating Kevin Schmidt (2,215, 31.3 percent) and David Holder (1,921, 27.1 percent).

Judicial races

David Overstreet defeated John B. Barberis Jr., in the Republican primary for the Fifth Judicial District of the Illinois Supreme Court, by a margin of 76,838 to 23,618.

Overstreet will face Democrat Judy Cates in the fall general election.

In the Republican primary for the Fifth District of the Illinois Appellate Court, Mark Boie defeated Katherine Ruocco, 51,123 to 42,897.Boie will face Democrat Sarah Smith in the fall.

County officials

In Madison County, this fall, Democrat Chrystal Uhe will face Republican Tom Haine for state’s attorney.  Uhe drew 12,660, or 54.8 percent of the vote in the March 17 county board District 3, former board member William Meyer scored a GOP primary victory over present board member Philip Chapman. Meyer drew 762 or 64.03 percent of the primary vote; Chapman, 428 or 35.97 percent.  Meyer faces no Democratic challenger in the fall. Chapman defeated Meyer in the 2016 GOP primary.

In Madison County Board District 17, Democratic primary challenger Gary Niebur garnered 747 votes, or 71.14 percent of the tally, to defeat incumbent Victor Valentine, Jr., with 303 or 28.86 percent. Niebur faces no GOP opponent in the fall general election.

In Madison County Board District 19, Dina Burch attracted 572 voters, or 58.85 percent of the Democratic primary vote, to defeat Tammy Davis, with 400 or 41.15 percent.  Burch likewise faces no Republican opponent this fall.

In St. Clair County Board District 2, Democrat Ferris “Chilly” Williams and Republican Marvin B. Strode will compete this fall for the board seat currently held by retiring Joan McIntosh. Williams drew 461 votes or 57 percent of the ballots to defeat Harry Hollingsworth (309, 308 percent) in last week’s Democratic primary. Strode faced no primary opposition.

In St. Clair County Board District 5, longtime board member Lonnie Mosley secured 207 votes or 73percent of the total, to hold off a Democratic primary challenge from Felix F. Arnold (46, 16percent). Mosley faces no GOP opposition this fall.

Municipal issues

Voters in both the city of Centreville and the village of Alorton voiced approval for a proposed merger during the March 17 elections.

Centerville residents approved an advisory referendum on the issue with 797 in-favor (75.8 percent) and 255 against (24.2 percent)

In Alorton, 335 voted to pursue the merger (79.2 percent) with 88 voting against (20.8 percent).

Caseyville voters approve a property tax increase for the village fire department, with 227 approving of the measure (63.8 percent) and 129 voting against (36.2 percent).

Glen Carbon voters approved a bond issue for street improvements, 1,673 or 69.7 percent to 720 or 30.3 percent.

O’Fallon residents voted to allow adult-use cannabis businesses in their municipality; with 2,733                  voting in favor (52.5 percent) and 2,472 against (47.5 percent).

However, Highland residents elected not to allow cannabis dispensaries in their city, with 709 voting yes (40.4 percent), but 1047 voting no, (59.6 percent).