Posted Online: Nov. 06, 2012, 11:25 pm
Voters pick a Henry County Board with 10 Dems, 10 Republicans..
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By Lisa Hammer, firstname.lastname@example.org
CAMBRIDGE -- The new party configuration of the Henry County Board could be a 10-10 tie, depending on absentee ballots that still may come in over the next 14 days.
As of Tuesday night, however, Henry County voters elected two Democrats and eight Republicans in District 1, the northern part of the county, and two Republicans and eight Democrats in District 2, the south part of the county.
Republican party leaders are especially pointing to two people with just five votes separating them: Republican Kippy Nelson tallied 4,031 votes to Tom Wiley's 4,036 in District 2.
Historically, Republican Central Committee Chairwoman Jan Weber said Tuesday, there was a 12-12 split on the county board after the 2002 election. In trying to select a chairman, the county board went through three or four ballots, each time was split with 12 voting for Republican Marvin Gradert and 12 voting for Democrat Tom Nicholson.
After that, she said, the two names were put in a hat to determine the winner, which was Mr. Gradert.
District 1 winners Tuesday were: Karen Urick, (R), 6,408; Tim Wells, (R) 6,390; Kathy Nelson, (R) 6,362; Marvin Gradert, (R) 6,343; Rick Livesay, (R) 6,281; Loren Rathjen, (R) 5,618; Bill Preston, (R) 5,548; Jacob Waller, (R) 5,493; Ann DeSmith, (D) 5,479 and Jo Anne Hillman, (D) 5,269.
District 2 winners were: Jan May, (D) 5,140; James Kursock, (D) 4,692; Ted Sturtevant, (D) 4,690; John Sovanski, (D), 4,564; Jerry Thompson, (D) 4,390; Roger Gradert, (R) 4,368; Thomas May, (D) 4,321; Dennis Anderson, (R) 4,168; James Findley, (D) 4,123; and Thomas Wiley, 4,036.
District 1 candidates who did not gain seats on the board wereRepublicans Jon Zahm and Charles Lotridge andDemocrats Joe Swan, Betty Murphy, Ian Malmstrom, Dennis Sullivan, Jim Eccher, Karen Russell, John Smith and the late Jim King.
In District Two, unsuccessful candidates were Republicans Kippy Nelson, Rebekah McCaw, Donald DeDobbelaere, Thomas Millsaps, Marshall Jones, Kelli Parsons, Terry Seaars and William LeSage, and Democrats Eric Hollaway and Sammie Borst.
Two years ago, Republicans took control of the board with 13 seats to the Democrats' 11.
After the decennial census, the board voted in May 2011 to reduce the number of districts from three to two and, two months later, voted to cut the seats to 10 in each district. The board formerly had 24 members.
District 1 includes Colona, Hanna, Edford, Phenix, Geneseo, Loraine, Atkinson, Yorktown, Alba, Western, Osco and Munson townships.
District 2 consists of Cornwall, Annawan, Lynn, Andover, Cambridge, BUrns, Kewanee, Oxford, Clover, Weller, Galva and Wethersfield townships.
County board chairman Tim Wells said Tuesday night he was proud of candidates of both parties who are willing to do public service.
"Forty ask to serve and only 20 will be chosen," he stated. "Those not chosen must continue to put service first and know that community involvement is never lost."