Anti-turbine-backed candidates advance to November


Four challengers move on to General Election, voters keep state’s attorney

• This online story about the Mar. 17 Primary Election is correct.  Unfortunately, the Mar. 20 version of the story in the Journal print edition was not correct.  The Journal apologizes for the error.

CLINTON — Four of the six county board candidates backed by DeWitt County Residents Against Wind Turbines easily advanced in Tuesday’s Primary Election.  Two others failed in their bids to unseat incumbents, while voters reelected state’s attorney Dan Markwell to run in November.

While DeWitt County residents might be restricting their travel because of the coronavirus, voter turnout actually was consistent with past primaries at about 24 percent.  Turnout in the 2018 March primary was 25.48 percent.  DeWitt County voter turnout in the 2018 November General Election was 56.72 percent.

In the District A county board election, the three anti-turbine-backed candidates, Republicans Jamie Prestegaard and Aaron Kaymmeyer were chosen to move on to the General Election in November, tying at 479 votes each, with Buck Carter also advancing with 488 votes.

Incumbent Cole Ritter lost his bid with 262 votes.  Voter turnout in District A was 27 percent.

In the District C county board election, Republican incumbents Jay Wickenhauser and David Newberg were chosen to run in November, Wickenhauser with 337 votes, Newberg with 335 votes.

Anti-turbine-backed candidate Republican Megan Myers also advances to November with 350 votes, while fellow challengers Steve Oswald and Thomas Koshinski lost their bids, Oswald with 308 votes, Koshinski with 290.  Voter turnout in District C was 24.1 percent.

Running as Democrats for reelection to the board, Camille Redman and Lance Reece in District A will move on to November, Redman with 148 votes, Reece with 92 on Tuesday. Incumbent Democrat Scott Nimmo will take on Republican challengers in District C in November; he received 174 votes on Tuesday.

Four candidates endorsed by the anti-wind turbine group were elected in 2018. The group has been fighting since 2017 a special use permit application by Tradewind Energy for a proposed wind energy project in northern DeWitt County.

The project first was proposed in 2008.  In 2014, county officials began rewriting the county’s wind energy ordinance in preparation for wind farm applications.

Newberg is the current county board chairman and Redman vice chairman.  The two were chosen to their posts following a two-year board tumult during which a group of anti-landfill candidates, known informally as the “Reform Coalition,” controlled the board.  Voters later rejected those members when they ran for reelection.

In the DeWitt County State’s Attorney race, incumbent Dan Markwell defeated challenger Stephanie Scoles 1235 votes to 1103.

In the Democratic Presidential Primary, county voters chose Joe Biden over Bernie Sanders 600 votes to 270.

Election totals remain unofficial until the state certifies the results.

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