Metro-East News

Meier defeats Moore in state House primary; Kay will have rematch with Stuart

State Rep. Charlie Meier, left, and primary challenger Don Moore, right.
State Rep. Charlie Meier, left, and primary challenger Don Moore, right. Provided

Incumbent state Rep. Charlie Meier has defeated a challenge from a Madison County Board member from Troy while former state Rep. Dwight Kay will get a rematch with the legislator who defeated him in 2016.

Don Moore challenged Meier, R-Okawville, in the Republican primary for the 108th House District for the state legislature, but lost 9,059 to 3,598 with all precincts reporting in final but unofficial numbers.

Meier declared victory Tuesday night after Moore called to concede. "You stood by my side in a hard-fought race, I am forever grateful," Meier said, saying Moore's call was gracious and honorable.

"As state representative, I won't stop fighting for our way of life, our values, and our small communities that make southern Illinois so great," Meier said. "Thank you again to everyone who voted for me by putting your trust in me."

Meier initially voted in favor of the income tax increase vetoed by Gov. Bruce Rauner, which was a move under heavy criticism in Moore ads. Meier eventually voted against the veto override, but the higher rate prevailed. The House Republican Organization has spent more than $50,000 supporting Meier’s campaign as he fended off Moore’s challenge.

Moore receives a disabled veterans exemption on his home in Troy, which excludes him from paying any property taxes on the house he and his wife bought in 2012 for $395,000. He is listed as 90 percent disabled. Meanwhile, Meier has received about $700,000 in farm subsidies since 1995. The race was controversial, with allegations in February that Meier hired a private detective to follow Moore’s wife, which Meier denied.

On the Democratic side, the only candidate was write-in J. David Parker.

In other contested races for the state legislature:

• In the 112th District, former state Rep. Dwight Kay of Glen Carbon will get his rematch with State Rep. Katie Stuart (D-Edwardsville) who unseated him in 2016. He defeated Wendy Erhart of Maryville in the primary; with all precincts reporting, Kay defeated Erhart 4,344 to 3,137.

Kay served three terms in the state house and works for Cassens Transport in Edwardsville. Erhart works for a community development lender as a strategic initiatives manager.

Erhart conceded the race Tuesday night, thanking her supporters. "We were outspent and were up against someone with near-100 percent name (identification)," she said. "We came up short, but we fought hard because the prospect of a better future for Illinois requires it. I congratulate Dwight Kay on his win tonight and wish him the best of luck in November."

Kay said he was pleased with the results and complimented Erhart on the primary race, calling her a "good opponent in a tough race."

"I was very thankful I had an opponent like that; it was good for both of us, shows we have an interest in good government," Kay said. "She's as committed as I am."

Kay said his team "worked extraordinarily hard and had a good ground game." He said his group is "not going to miss a beat here," and will be running forward into the general campaign. "We're going to run this campaign as hard and fast as we an, focusing on the issues," he said.

• In the 107th District, Republicans Blaine Wilhour and Laura Myers vied for the nomination.

Wilhour, 35, of Beecher City said he was focused on Illinois’ outmigration. Myers, 45, of Greenville said she was focused on governmental waste. Both said they were interested in rolling back last year’s state income tax increase. With all precincts reporting, Wilhour won with 6,100 to Myers' 3,873.

The 107th has been represented by state Rep. John Cavaletto since 2009, but he is not running for reelection. David Seiler of Effingham is unopposed in the primary for the Democratic nomination.

The general election is Nov. 6.

Elizabeth Donald: 618-239-2507, @BNDedonald