State primaries wrap-up: Local races
Some voters in Illinois had more than just presidential nominees to vote on Tuesday.
Sales Tax Hikes
In Hardin County, voters were asked to decide on whether to approve a 1% sales tax hike. Money from the tax hike would be used exclusively for schools. Absentee and early voting ballots are not in yet, but it looks like the tax hike will pass. 70% voted Tuesday in favor of the tax hike, 30% voted against the tax hike.
Voters in Massac County were also asked to vote on a 1% sales tax hike. Money from that tax hike would fund renovations to the courthouse in Metropolis. The tax hike failed to pass with 52% voting no and 48% voting yes. Despite the measure failing, county officials hope to bring it back up for a vote on the November ballot.
Another 1% sales tax hike was also voted on in Johnson County. Money from that take hike would allow the county to replace its 100 year old government annex building, which is infested with dangerous stage 3 mold. The tax increase passed with 62% voting yes and 38% voting no. Commissioner Ernie Henshaw says they will hold a series of public meetings to get input on what the new county building should look like and where it should be built.
One of the most hotly contested U.S. Senate races is also happening in Illinois. Republican incumbent Senator Mark Kirk was challenged by businessman James Marter. Kirk won with 71% of the votes. Marter got 29%.
Kirk will face off against Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth. She won the Democratic primary with 64% of the votes. Duckworth was facing off against two opponents, former U.S. Attorney Andrea Zopp and State Senator Napoleon Harris. Zopp had 24% of the vote, while Harris had 12%.
Longtime U.S. Representative John Shimkus also faced his first primary challenge in years with Senator Kyle McCarter trying to get the Republican nomination in the 15th District. Shimkus won with 60% of the votes. McCarter had 40%.
There was also a challenge for the Republican nomination for the 58th District Senate seat. Paul Schimpf of Waterloo beat challenger Sharee Langenstein with 67% of the vote. Langenstein had 33% of the votes. Schimpf will face Democrat Sheila Simon of Carbondale in November. Simon ran unopposed in the primary.
In Williamson County, Brandon Zanotti will run as the Democratic nominee for State’s Attorney. He beat Herrin attorney Daniel Kay for the nomination. Zanotti won 71% of the votes, while Kay had 29%. Zanotti will face off against Republican Duane Verity in the November elections.