Red White and Blue Balloons with Confetti


By Bob Balgemann
BOONE COUNTY – Eight days after the presidential preference primary election, leaders of the Boone County Democratic Party are looking to slate some candidates for the Nov. 8 general election.
And that means those who won Republican nominations for various jobs on March 15 are waiting to see if they will have any opponents come the fall.
Longtime Democratic Party Chairman Mike Guthrie said the local organization has until the middle of April to decide who will be the standard bearer for state’s attorney, five seats on the county board, a two-year term in District 70 of the state House of Representative, four-year term in District 35 of the state Senate and Congressional District 16.
And don’t forget to be stumping for the Democratic candidate for president of the United States.
Locally, he said it probably would be difficult to find someone to run against Tricia Smith, who upset incumbent Michelle Courier to win the GOP nomination for state’s attorney.
“Most of the lawyers are Republicans,” he said of one major hurdle. “We have nobody in mind at this point.”
Democrats already have one strong candidate in District III on the county board. He is Craig Schultz who will go against Republicans Carl Larson and Marion Thornberry for two, four-year seats.
Guthrie said he thought Schultz, who received the most votes in District III four years ago, had done an excellent job during his first term.
In unofficial returns, Larson was the top District III vote-getter in a field of four candidates on March 15, polling 1,127 ballots, or 30.85 percent of those cast.
Former board member Thornberry received 961 votes, or 26.31 percent, with Martin Vanderweit 65 votes behind at 869, or 24.13 percent. Matthew Ragano rounded out the group with 669 votes, or 18.31 percent.
Guthrie said the party would like to have a candidate in District I, where Denny Ellingson is the only incumbent. The other candidate is former board member Marshall Newhouse. Ellingson polled the most votes in the primary, 1,952, compared with 1,910 for Newhouse and 1,107 for W. Fred Genrich, who finished out of the running.
In District II, longtime board member Cathy Ward advanced to Nov. 8 though she finished second in votes (2,022) to newcomer Dr. Bernard O’Malley (2,271).
Cory Lind, who was appointed to the District II seat in January, was third with 1,803 ballots. He replaced Paul Larson, who resigned in November 2015.
Voters in North Boone decided they didn’t want to pay a second tax for ambulance service. That request from North Boone Fire Protection District III was denied, 1,523 votes, or 52.02 percent, to 1,405 or 47.98 percent.
In the other Republican contest Thornberry (68) defeated another former board member, Chris Bernier (58), for Belvidere Precinct Committeeman in Precinct 13.
Overall, Republicans continue to have more registered voters than the Democratic Party, but Guthrie said there have been quite a few new Democratic registrations.
“It’s up but the Republicans are still ahead,” he said.
Removing signs
Tricia Smith took Wednesday off and spent some of that blustery day removing campaign signs from various locations around the county.
She attributed her upset victory to having a lot of good support around the county.
“People worked hard to get my message out,” she said.
Now it’s time to wait and see as to whether she will have an opponent in November.
In addition to the possibility that a Democrat will be slated to run against her, Independent candidates also will have time to file.
In the March 15 election, she received 4,986 votes, or 52.95 percent of those cast, to 4,431 for Courier, who was seeking her third term as state’s attorney.
“It’s always difficult when you run against an incumbent,” Smith said. “But I was hopeful; I thought it would be close, I thought that I had some momentum. I’m very pleased and want to thank everyone who voted for me.”
She said she is looking forward to being back in the courtroom as a prosecuting attorney. She hopes the future will hold winning more cases and reducing the amount of time it takes cases to get to trial.
Also on March 15, current Circuit Court Clerk Linda Anderson won the GOP nomination, 4,988 to 3,591 over Todd Shattuck. She was appointed last year to replace Nora Ohlsen, who resigned.
Incumbent state Sen. Dave Syverson, R-Rockford, and incumbent state Reps. Bob Pritchard, R-Sycamore, and Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford, were unopposed, as was U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ottawa.
But Sosnowski already has an opponent in the general election, Democrat Angelique Bodine from Candlewick Lake.
In the race for president, candidate Donald Trump carried the county (3,816 to 3,248) and the state, with Ted Cruz in second place, six percentage points behind.
On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders thumped Hillary Clinton in Boone, but Clinton took the state.

Buy Viagra Overnight Delivery USA.