With the outcome of the Presidential election still in doubt, Macoupin County voters overwhelmingly supported Donald Trump in yesterday’s general election balloting. Additionally, Macoupin County voters ousted three incumbent Democrats and one Independent on the Macoupin County Board, replacing them with Republicans and giving the GOP a majority on the 18-member board.
County voters cast 16,058 votes (67.27 percent) for Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, compared with 7,313 (30.64 percent) for the Joe Biden/Kamala Harris team. Trump captured a slightly higher percentage of the votes in Macoupin County than he did in 2016 when he defied the polls and conventional wisdom by capturing the Presidency. Trump took 64.46 percent of the Macoupin County vote in 2016, compared with 30.11 cast for the Hillary Clinton/Tim Kaine ticker.
Not surprisingly, voter turnout for the 2020 general election was higher than 2016 when 71.55 of the county’s 31,700 registered voters went to the polls. For 2020, the county added 182 voters to the list of registered voters, 75.43 percent of whom cast ballots this year. For the 2018 midterm election, only 57.41 percent of the county’s then 32,151 registered voters cast ballots.
While the focus of most observers was on the Trump/Biden race, third party candidates took a substantial percentage of Macoupin County votes for 2020. Libertarian Jo Jorgenson took 346 votes, equivalent to 1.45 percent of the vote, and Howie Hawkins of the Green Party took 110 votes, equivalent to .48 percent.
In a major upset, voters in County Board District 2 ousted incumbent Democrats Francis Wieseman and Gary Rull. Republicans Jon C. Payne and Gordon L. Heuer captured 1,550 votes (32.21 percent) and 1,345 votes (27.95 percent), respectively. Long-time board member Wieseman garnered 974 votes (20.24 percent) and Gary Rull, also an incumbent, captured 943 votes (19.6 percent).
In County Board District 1, voters rejected recently appointed Democrat Chi Ebert Pelo in favor of Republican Lyndel Klausing, 1,824 (66.18 percent) to (32.82 percent).
Republican incumbent Larry Schmidt and Democrat Ruth Ann Pomatto retained their County Board seats in District 5 over challenger John J. Blank, a Republican. Schmidt took 1,360 votes (36.69 percent) with Pomatto closely followed with 1,336 votes (36.04 percent). Blank captured 1,011 votes (27.27 percent).
District 7 voters ousted the board’s only Independent, Sheila K. Lewis, replacing her with Republican James Ibberson. Incumbent Republican Bernard C. Kiel won re-election with 1,451 votes (41.99) with Ibberson capturing 1,089 (31.30 percent). Lewis trailed with 929 votes (26.7 percent).
As expected, Macoupin County voters also voted overwhelmingly against a proposed constitutional amendment to end the state’s “flat tax” system and replace it with a progressive tax structure to impose higher taxes on upper level incomes. A total of 16,563 (72.38 percent) Macoupin County voters cast ballots against the measure, while 6,319 (27.62 percent) voted in favor. The amendment fared better statewide but still failed to pass muster. With 97 percent of the votes counted, the measure was losing 55 percent to 45 percent.
Republican Avery Bourne retained her seat as State Representative in the 95th District, capturing 74 percent of the vote in her district, compared with 26 percent for challenger Democrat Chase Wilhelm. In Macoupin County, Bourne collected 13,999 votes (68.10 percent), compared with 6,511 (31 percent) for Wilhelm.
Wilhelm offered a Facebook post shortly after midnight Wednesday morning saying, “The will of the people have spoken. My sincere congratulation to Rep. Avery Bourne.”
Macoupin County voting also reflected district-wide results in the race for the 13th District Congressional seat. Incumbent Republican Rodney Davis scored 16,266 votes (69.26 percent) over challenger Democrat Betsey Dirksen Londrigan’s 7,219 votes (30.74 percent). District-wide, with 62 percent of precincts reporting, Londrigan trailed Davis 60 percent to 40 percent. Those results stand in stark contrast to two years ago when Londrigan came within one percentage point of defeating Davis.
For U.S. Senate, Macoupin County voters favored Republican challenger Mark C. Curran over incumbent Richard J. Durbin. Macoupin voters cast 14,468 votes (61.49 percent) for Curran, compared with 8,279 votes (35.19 percent for Durbin. Statewide, Durbin easily won re-election, however. With 70 percent of the vote tallied, Durbin took 53.6 percent of the vote vs. Curran’s 39.7 percent. Independent Willie Wilson siphoned away 4.5 percent statewide.
Public questions to create taxing districts for the Gillespie-Benld Ambulance Service within the Carlinville and Unit 7 Fire Protection Districts were overwhelmingly approved. In the Carlinville area, voters approved the measure 2,557 (60.9 percent) to 1,642 (39.10 percent). Voters in the Community Unit School District 7 area approved the measure 2,021 (58.70 percent) to 1,422 (41.30 percent).
Likewise, public questions to established taxing districts for the Prairieland Ambulance Service in the Virden and Girard fire protection districts were approved by similar margins. Girard area voters approved 1,261 (69.75 percent) to 547 (30.25 percent). In the Virden area, voters approved the measure by 1,145 (69.66 percent) to 494 (30.14 percent).
An MTAD property tax proposition in North Otter and North Palmyra townships fared less well, losing 833 to 139.
Several county officials, all Democrats, were on the ballot without opposition. Jordan Garrison, who will replace retiring Macoupin County State’s Attorney Jennifer Watson, earned 17,241 votes. Anthony Kravanya, who will replace retiring Macoupin County Coroner Brad Targhetta, was elected with 18,150 votes, and incumbent Lee Ross was re-elected as Circuit Clerk with 17,249 votes.