Originally Posted Online: Nov. 06, 2012, 11:15 pm
Last Updated: Nov. 06, 2012, 11:16 pm

McGehee elected RI state's attorney

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By Stephen Elliott, selliott@qconline.com

Photo: Submitted
John McGehee, Rock Island County State's Attorney

John McGehee is the new Rock Island County state's attorney.

Mr. McGehee, 51, of Moline, handily defeated his Republican challenger, Rock Island County Assistant State's Attorney Jim Wozniak, 33, of East Moline, by a vote of 37,893 to 23,752, according to unofficial returns.

"It's a good night," Mr. McGehee said. "I think the voters have decided that the office needs someone with integrity and honesty. I'm really happy things have turned out well for me tonight."

Both Mr. McGehee and Mr. Wozniak campaigned on making changes in the office. They took their campaigns to thousands of households throughout the county.

Mr. Wozniak was hired by former state's attorney Jeff Terronez shortly before Mr. Terronez resigned in April 2011 after pleading guilty to one misdemeanor count of providing alcohol to a minor.

Mark Senko was then appointed by the Rock Island County Board in 2011 to replace Mr. Terronez until Tuesday's election.

"I want to bring the morale up," Mr. McGehee said of the office. "Ever since Jeff (Terronez) had to resign, the morale has been low.

"There really needs to be leadership in the office. I think my victory tonight is a mandate from the voters.

"Hopefully, the changes will be very positive and will really help the county."

Mr. Wozniak also campaigned on making changes in the office, saying the county had a one party (Democratic) system for too long. He said voters told him they wanted to rid the county of waste, corruption and nepotism.

He said he was surprised at the size of his loss as well as that of other Republican contests in Rock Island County.

"I knew it was an uphill battle," Mr. Wozniak said afterwards. "There's a lot of problems in Rock Island County, a lot of problems in the state and a lot of people are upset.

"I assumed that would translate into a lot of votes for change. It doesn't appear that's the case. The electorate has spoken. That's what a democracy is for."

Mr. Wozniak said he called Mr. McGehee to congratulate him on his win and hopes he can work with him as assistant state's attorney.