Johnson County residents will, or have, cast their vote on many important issues in tomorrow’s, March 18, 2014, primary election, including a new sheriff.
Sheriff Elry Faulkner plans to retire at the end of his current term ending December 1, after serving Johnson County for 40 years, with very little opposition throughout the years.
Faulkner is the longest serving county sheriff in the history of Illinois.
Elry has been commended locally and statewide many times for his dedication to the office, while narrowly escaping death more than once during his tenure.
With his dedicated service to law enforcement, Faulkner has become one of the most respected sheriffs in the state.
Competing for the sheriff’s seat in the primary are Charlie Harner, Jeff Jorden and Tim Warren on the Republican ballot. Jay Merchant is seeking the post on the Democrat ticket.
Johnson County treasurer Carol Stockdale is also retiring at the end of her term. Stockdale has served Johnson County in the treasurer’s post for the past eight years.
Brent Williams, Jim Haney and Kerri Taylor are bidding for county treasurer in the primary election on the Republican ballot. There is no candidate for treasurer on the Democrat ticket.
In the Johnson County commissioner’s race, democrat incumbent Jeff Mears will run unopposed in the primary, with one of three potential Republican candidates challenging him in the fall general election, Billy Fairless, Fred Meyer or Roy Allen Street.
Also appearing on the ballot are the seats for county clerk and assessor. Robin Harper-Whitehead and Dannell Mott, respectfully, currently hold those positions and are running unopposed in the primary.
The recently modified regional superintendent of schools district, serving Johnson, Massac, Williamson and Franklin counties, has one candidate, Matt Donkin, running for the superintendent’s post.
The proposition regarding the creation of a community bill of rights, “Shall the people’s right to self-government be asserted by Johnson County to ban corporate fracking as a violation of their rights to health, safety and a clean environment?,” is also to be voted on in the primary election.
Voters in the Village of Goreville and unincorporated areas of Johnson County will also have an opportunity to decide if their boards could arrange the supply of electricity for its residential and small commercial retail customers who have not opted out of such programs.
For the first time in recent history, the Democrat ballot has a full slate of precinct committeeman candidates. Goreville I, Goreville II, Grantsburg, Lake I and Ozark precincts have opposed races for the position.
The Republican ticket has only four spots for precinct committeemen with no candidates running in the primary. The candidates appearing on the ballot are all unopposed.
Statewide positions to be voted on include U.S. senator, Illinois governor and lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, comptroller and treasurer.
On the Democrat ticket, incumbent senator Dick Durbin is unopposed.
For governor and lieutenant governor, the team of Tio Hardmiman/Brunell Donald will challenge incumbent governor Pat Quinn and his running mate Paul Vallas.
Lisa Madigan for attorney general, Jesse White for secretary of state, Shelia Simon for comptroller and Michael Frerichs for treasurer, have no opposition.
Additionally, in the congressional Democrat race in the 15th district, there is no opposition for Eric Thorsland for congressman.
Brandon Phelps, incumbent state representative in the 118th district, is also unopposed in the primary.
On the Republican ticket, Jim Oberweis faces Douglas Truax for a chance to be on the general ballot this fall.
The governor/lieut. governor race includes the teams of Bill Brady/Maria Rodriguez, Dan Rutherford/Steve Kim, Kirk Dillard/Jil Tracey, and Bruce Rauner/Evelyn Sanguinetti.
Paul Schimpf for attorney general, Michael Webster for secretary of state and Judy Baar Topinka for comptroller are running unopposed.
One of two candidates for state treasurer, Tom Cross and Bob Grogan, will be eliminated for a ballot position in the general election.
Incumbent congressman John Shimkus has a free pass in the primary, to face his opponent in the fall.
Complete post-election results, by precincts, will be published in next week’s edition.