Miller Edges Braun for GOP Nomination for County Treasurer


Published on March 20 2018 11:04 pm
Last Updated on March 21 2018 7:51 am
Written by Greg Sapp

The closest contest of the day Tuesday in Effingham County was the race for the Republican nomination for County Treasurer.

Long-time county treasurer office employee Paula Miller narrowly defeated Sheila Braun 2,322 to 2,176 for the nomination. Democrat incumbent Steve Dasenbrock is not seeking re-election in November. At this point, there is no Democrat candidate for the office.

The contest between Miller and Braun went back-and-forth through the evening. The percentage of the race was 51.62% for Miller to 48.38% for Braun.

There were no other county primary battles in Effingham County Tuesday; incumbent Republicans Kerry Hirtzel, David Mahon and Pam Braun were unopposed for the nominations for County Clerk, County Sheriff and County Supervisor of Assessments, and there are no Democrat candidates for those offices. There are also no contests for any of the County Board seats to be filled in November, as incumbent Democrats Karen Luchtefeld and Doug McCain and incumbent Republicans Jim Niemann and Dave Campbell are the only people running for the seats they hold on the Board. As for County Coroner, Republicans and Democrats will slate their party's candidates in June for the November vote to see who will serve the final two years of the term of the late Duane Guffey. Republican Kim Rhodes was recently named to serve as coroner until after the November election. It's expected she will run to fill the unexpired term.

Turnout in Effingham County was slim Tuesday, as just 25.55% of those registered to vote actually cast a ballot. Of those who voted, almost 79% voted Republican, just over 21% voted Democratic. 

Effingham County Republicans supported challenger Jeanne Ives over incumbent Republican Bruce Rauner 2,648 to 1,977, although Rauner claimed a narrow win statewide.

The county also followed the trend of supporting challenger Darren Bailey over incumbent David Reis in the Republican primary for 109th District state representative, 739 for Bailey to 579 for Reis. Districtwide, Bailey upended Reis 9,718 to 7,399. Bailey, a farmer from Xenia, will square off against Democrat Cynthia Given of Olney in the general election in November. Given was unopposed for the Democratic nomination.

Beecher City's Blaine Wilhour won the Republican nomination for State Representative in the 107th District. Wilhour defeated Laura Myers in Effingham County 2,384 to 855 and districtwide 6,045 to 3,961 with just a couple of precincts left to report. Wilhour will take on David Seiler of Effingham in November. Seiler was unopposed for the Democratic nomination. There is no incumbent in the race; Republican John Cavaletto of Salem is not seeking re-election.

Effingham County also followed the trend districtwide in the 54th District race for the Republican nomination for State Senate. Jason Plummer received 2,168 votes to 450 for Benjamin Stratemeyer, 347 for Rafael Him and 277 for George Barber. Plummer won districtwide with 12,988 votes to 4,488 for Stratemeyer, 2,733 for Him, and 2,436 for Barber. There is currently no Democrat candidate in the race. There is no incumbent; Republican Kyle McCarter is not seeking another term.

Statewide, J.B. Pritzker won the Democrat nomination for governor, posting a comfortable win over Daniel Biss and Chris Kennedy, his nearest challengers. It also sets up a battle between millionaires not bashful about spending their own fortunes on their campaigns as Pritzker will do battle with Rauner in November.

In the race for Attorney General, State Senator Kwame Raoul won the Democrat nomination, getting past former governor Pat Quinn 30.5% to 27.6%. Raoul will battle former Miss America Erika Harold, who defeated Gary Grasso 59.5% to 40.5%. Democrat incumbent Lisa Madigan is not seeking re-election. 

There were no other statewide primary contests on Tuesday.

Kevin Gaither, a Sullivan native who lived in Indiana for several years until moving back to Charleston in 2013, won the Democrat nomination for Congress in the 15th District, defeating Carl Spoerer of Mahomet 17,045 to 10,414 with just a couple of precincts to be counted. Gaither won in Effingham County 650 to 423. Gaither will take on long-time Republican incumbent John Shimkus of Collinsville in November.