Voter Turnout Weak

March 27, 2014

Voter Turnout Weak

By Leigh Williams, Contributing Writer

Marion County had a quiet primary election on Tuesday with few contested races and a voter turnout of just less than 15 percent.

On the state level, Marion County voters disagreed with the overall tallies setting up the race for governor between incumbent Pat Quinn and his republican challenger in the November General Election, Bruce Rauner.

County voters cast just 274 votes for Quinn compared to 718 for community activist Tio Hardiman. Hardiman carried 30 of Illinois’ 102 counties but it was Quinn who came out on top to earn a bid for re-election.

On the republican side, Marion County voters put their support behind Kirk Dillard with 1,047 votes to Rauner’s 594. Bill Brady had 577 votes and Dan Rutherford, 222. The battle between Quinn and Rauner has already begun with Quinn beginning televised campaign ads naming his opponent, Rauner.

According to the Chicago Tribune, “With the general election not until Nov. 4, Illinois voters can expect a long, bruising fight where Quinn plays the Democratic class warfare card and Rauner sticks to the Republican playbook of pro-business agenda he says would lead to more jobs and lower taxes.”

In the single contested race in Marion County, Robert Schnicker beat David Boatright for a place on the democratic side for Marion County Board District Three. Schnicker earned 148 votes to Boatright’s 115 and will face incumbent republican Micah Mulvany in the November General Election.

Ron Daniels, who won the republican race for regional superintendent of schools across Jefferson, Marion, Clinton, Washington counties and a portion of Fayette County with votes totaling 7,177 compared to challenger, Jacob Purcell with 3,534 votes, was also the favorite among Marion County voters. Daniels defeated Purcell in Marion County by a margin of 1,186 to 1,029.

Jefferson, Marion, Clinton, Washington and a small section of Fayette counties will make up the new consolidated Regional Office of Education beginning in July 2015. Daniels will face democrat Kerri Garrett, who ran unopposed.

Although each candidate for Marion County sheriff ran unopposed in the primary election for their respective political parties, republican candidate Richard W. Stevenson had a strong showing with 2,085 votes. He will face democrat incumbent, Jerry A. Devore in November. Devore had 932 votes.

Also in the November General Election: Democrat Lisa Madigan will face republican challenger, Paul M. Schimpf; incumbent Secretary of State Jesse White will face Michael Webster, republican; and democrat Sheila Simon will face Judy Baar Topinka for comptroller.