The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

March 18, 2012

Republicans will see more contested races Tuesday

DANVILLE — Republican supporters are expected to make up the largest majority of voters who go to the polls for Tuesday’s primary election.

Among the county’s contested races on Tuesday, only one — a county board race — involves Democratic candidates. The remaining battles are between GOP candidates.

“Unfortunately, voter turnout traditionally is not very high on primaries for a variety of reasons,” said Vermilion County Clerk Lynn Foster. She pointed to a number of factors, ranging from lack of a referendum on this ballot to some voters preferring not to select candidates along party lines.

Despite expectations, Danville Election Commission Executive Director Barbara Dreher said her office is “doing well” in regard to early and absentee ballots.

As of late last week, the Danville Election Commission had seen a little more than 400 early and absentee ballots returned so far. For the county, 331 ballots have been issued and 282 counted.

With last year’s redistricting plan, Vermilion County is now split among three Illinois legislative districts. Illinois House and Senate district numbers did not change for most Danville residents. For the northern half and southwestern corner of the county, however, there’s been a transition as those areas became part of new districts.

“We have had some questions,” Foster said. “There was a flurry when it first occurred.”

“I think a lot of times you don’t think about it until you get in” to vote, she added.

The state’s 53rd Senate/106th House districts take up the most of the northern half of the county, cutting across just north of Danville on West Newell Road. The districts as a whole stretch as far west as north of Bloomington and up to Dwight in the north.

In the 106th Illinois House race, five Republican newcomers are battling to move on to the November election: Scott McCoy of Pontiac, Josh Harms of Watseka, Tom Bennett of Gibson City, Richard Thomas of Dwight and Brian Gabor of Pontiac.

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