Phil Hare wins spot on ballot


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Posted Online: June 06, 2006, 12:00 am
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Staff writers
On to November

Phil Hare, aide to Rep. Lane Evans, won today's vote to replace Mr. Evans on the Democratic ballot this fall.

The final tally was, Mr. Hare, 17,011 votes; State Sen. John Sullivan of Rushville 7,530; Rock Island Mayor Mark Schwiebert 1,370; State Rep. Mike Boland of East Moline 612; and Rob Mellon, a Quincy teacher, 98.

Rock Island and Macoupin counties came through with a large majority for Mr. Hare.

Mr. Hare made a brief acceptance speech shortly before 2 p.m., in which he called himself "humbled and honored" by his election. "If I am half as good as Lane Evans, I will be a great congressman," he said to applause.

He told the crowd that Democrats will be able to win this fall if they run on the issues.

Five county clerks were counting the votes this afternoon after collecting the 376 ballots at the Rock Island Post office this morning about 11 a.m.

17th District Democratic Committeeman Don Johnson and Committeewoman Mary Boland, the clerks, and a group of reporters were on hand as the clerks counted the ballots to make sure they had all that were mailed in. They then proceeded to the Rock Island County Office Building to count them.

Four hundred and twenty-three precinct committeemen were eligible to vote on their choice to replace Rep. Lane Evans. He won the March 21 primary but withdrew a week later for health reasons.

A group of some 50 people awaited the count, including party officials, reporters and the candidates, except for Mr. Mellon.

The clerks counting the votes are Kerry Asbridge of Hancock County, Barb Link of Henry County, Michele Zippay of Macoupin County, Thomas Hanson of Mercer County and Richard Leibovitz of Rock Island County.

The choice for replacing Rep. Evans on the ballot was being made by precinct committeemen in the district, which covers all or part of 23 counties in western and central Illinois. There are 721 precincts in the district, but only those committeemen who were elected March 21 get to vote.

The number of votes cast by each committeeman is determined by the number of Democratic votes cast in the precinct in the primary. For example, if 100 Democratic ballots were cast, the committeeman would have 100 votes. Those votes can be cast for one candidate or split among two or more candidates.

Mr. Hare will face Republican Andrea Zinga of Coal Valley in the November general election.

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