Mount Vernon, Murphysboro elect new trustees
The local campaign season drew to a close as votes for the 2017 consolidated general election were tallied. This election cycle has finally come to an end with voters having the final say at the polls. There were 36,123 registered voters in Jackson County for the election, but only 5,921 voters cast ballots for a total voter participation percentage of 16.39 percent. In Jefferson County there were 24,610 registered voters with 7,036 casting ballots. Jefferson voters turned out in significantly higher numbers at the polls, and had a voter participation percentage of 28.59 percent.
Here are the voting results along with some highlights from the campaign season:
Mount Vernon Township Results
Six of the candidates for the Mount Vernon Township School Board agreed that major changes were necessary for the high school, including leadership changes. The candidates spoke out at a forum hosted by the Mt. Vernon Business Women’s Club and the Mount Vernon Register-News.
Kathy Asbery, “Butch” Elberty Staples II, Brittany Boldt, David Kassner, Brian Rogers and Carl Miller were all united in their desire to build teacher morale and fix the leadership in the ailing district. In the end voters could only choose three candidates, and they cast their ballots for Asbery with 2,706 votes, Kassner with 2,337 votes, and Boldt with 2,157 votes.
John Lewis beat out Richard Clark , Donte Moore, and Dennis McEaney in the Mount Vernon Mayor’s race. Lewis had 1,694 votes for the win, while Clark came in with just 89 votes, and Moore and McEnaney fared better with around 500 votes each.
The race for city councilman ended with two of the six candidates being successful. Ken Meyers, James Rippy, Mike Young, John R. Menke Sr., Raymond Botch Jr., and Bernie Dickneite were all in the running. Voters elected James Rippy with 1,479 votes and Mike Young with an even 1,000 votes.
Mary Jo Pemberton ran unopposed and will be the Mt. Vernon city clerk, Patricita S. (Pat) Carlson ran unopposed for treasurer.
Murphysboro Township Results
In Murphysboro, incumbent republican Andrew Erbes sought re-election as a trustee. Erbes called into memory his family’s long political activism in the area, including his great-uncle Ray Doerr who served as chairman of the Jackson County Republicans for 25 years and obtained a great deal of “clout,” with politicians. Erbes' bid for re-election was successful as he protected his seat as a trustee. Also elected to the board were republicans Harold "Butter" Korando, Don Siefert with 540 and 541 votes respectively, along with Jim Stewart a democrat who received 498 votes.
Jason Rains, a republican who sought election as Murphysboro highway commissioner won his race against democratic challenger L. P. Rees. Rains received 540 votes compared to Rees’ 309 votes winning with 63.6 percent of the vote.
Murphysboro has a host of other Republican elected officials, although they did run unopposed during this election cycle. Sue Givens will serve the public interest as township supervisor with Ron Burdick as clerk. Cynthia K. Reeder, a democrat, ran unopposed for the assessor’s position.
McClellan Township Results
Republicans outperformed democrats at the polls in McClellan as well where GOP Candidates swept the elections for trustee, highway commissioner and clerk.
David E. Parkhill triumphed over democrat David Stewart and was elected as clerk with 175 votes. In a similar victory, republican Charles Allen beat out democrat Russell Wilton in the race for highway commissioner.
Republicans Johnnie Nelson, Joshua W. Summers, Shane W. Williams and Ryan Hays beat out democratic challengers in the township trustees’ race. Nelson received 137 votes, while Summers came in with 147 votes. Williams captured 134 votes and Hays performed the best among the GOP winners with 149 votes.
Initial vote tallies were reported by the various county clerks, with all precincts reporting. These results are reliable, but final results have to be certified before being entered into permanent record. You can see these results in full at the county clerks' website.