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Fayette County saw a 20 percent voter turnout on Tuesday for the April 6 consolidated election. There were 2,676 voters out of 13,607 who went to cast their ballots in many local contests.
“We were done virtually by 8:30 p.m. It was our best one yet,” said Fayette County Clerk Jessica Barker.
In results, two mayors and village presidents were replaced in the election, while the Vandalia mayor retained his seat. The Bingham Village President contest remains undecided as of election night.
Following are the results of only contested races. Those seats on boards and councils who did not have enough candidates to fill them, will be appointed following the installment of elected heads.
All write-in tallies are unofficial until certified by the canvassing board later this month.
Ricky J. Gottman, the longest serving mayor for the City of Vandalia, and president of the Illinois Municipal League, held off a challenge by Alex Sasse to earn a sixth term at the helm of the council. Gottman won the contest with 423 votes, or 45 percent of the vote, as compared to Sasse’s 369 votes, or 40 percent.
There was a four-way race in the contest to become the next Vandalia City Clerk, as Carla Huhn claimed victory in the contest, garnering the lion’s share of the votes at 333. Bari Forehand earned 179, while Cinde Carroll had 132 and Kara Metzger had 129.
There was only one contested election for Alderman, and that was in Ward 4. John “Andy” Lester retained his seat, getting 211 votes, while challenger Jeremy Curll got 108 votes.
The Village of Ramsey perhaps had the most heated contests, as recently many had expressed concerns with the way business was handled there. The night before the election, tempers flared as many voiced those concerns at the village meeting.
Alina Braning will be the new village president, as she defeated incumbent Chris Wall, 144-93.
Three seats were up for village trustee. There were two who filed petitions to run, and three who declared their intentions of being write-in candidates. Julie Moreland and Steve Marley were both elected to two seats, and among the write-in preliminary tallies, which are subject to change prior before being certified later this month, Heather Seaton received the most votes, earning 50 votes. Also receiving write-in votes were Bryan Williams and Shana Eller.
In St. Elmo, Kimberly Baron won her bid to unseat incumbent mayor H. L. “Ernie” Myers, 92-83.
A declared write-in candidate for village president of Bingham, Leroy B. Longwell, in preliminary counts, tied incumbent president Clifford Snider. Both candidates, in uncertified counts, received 9 votes for that office. Should that total hold up, ties in past election have been settled by the flip of a coin, or other similar means.
In Farina, incumbent Village President Jon Lotz retained his office, defeating Marsha Nolan, 59-18.
Park and Library districts
All slated candidates were elected for park and library district, and Kyle Hawkins was elected to the Vandalia Park Board, receiving an uncertified 94 write-in votes to fill a six-year term on that body.
All candidates on the ballot for various school boards in the county were all elected to their desired positions.
In Vandalia, there were two declared write-in candidates for a fourth available seat, and Therese Tate earned an uncertified 250 write-in votes, and if upheld, would be the fourth member elected to the Vandalia Board of Education.
Four of six candidates were elected to the Avena Township board on Tuesday night.
The top four vote recipients in the contest, and who were elected to the board, are David Ledbetter, David R. Abendroth, Hunter Strauch and Albert Niemeyer.
Andy Carter won the election for Township Highway Commissioner in Carson Township, defeating Rocky Kramer, 30-22, in the contest.
In Hurricane Township, Merle Saunders won the contest for highway commissioner, defeating Jared Cox, 37-21.
Pope, another township which saw a contest for highway commissioner, elected Democrat C. Wesley Cain to the position, as he defeated John Paul Vosholler, 49-37.
Seminary Township had the most contested races of any Township in the county in Tuesday’s election.
Ruth Ann Casey took the election for township supervisor in Seminary Township, defeating Bruce Sasse, 60-53.
For town clerk, Joelyn Collins defeated Mary Pennington, 69-43.
Six candidates were seeking four seats on the town board. Winning those seats were Lori Matthews, Craig Kern, Benjamin Emerick and Ashton Smith.
In the contest for highway commissioner, Randy Long defeated Chris Smith, 77-38.
In Shafter Township, four candidates were elected as township trustees. They were Ray Kulesza, Brad Brannon, Bruce Braswell and Warren Benson.
Four of six candidates were also elected to the board of trustees in Wheatland Township. They were Lowell Hunsaker, Mark Pippin, Mark Lash, and Ed Durbin.