Politics & Government

Prenzler defeats Dunstan; Madison County Board now GOP majority

Incumbent Madison County Board Chairman Alan Dunstan, a Democrat, left, was challenged by Republican Kurt Prenzler, who is Madison County’s treasurer.
Incumbent Madison County Board Chairman Alan Dunstan, a Democrat, left, was challenged by Republican Kurt Prenzler, who is Madison County’s treasurer.

Republican Kurt Prenzler has defeated Madison County Board Chairman Alan Dunstan in final but unofficial returns for Tuesday’s election.

With all 225 precincts reporting:

Dunstan: 61,993

Prenzler: 62,499

Dunstan was first elected as board chairman in 2002, when the chairmanship was decided by a vote of the county board. He then worked to make the chairmanship an elected office, and since 2004 all voters have had the option of selecting the county board chairman.

Dunstan said he wishes Prenzler and the new Republican majority on the county board the best. “I’m sorry to lose, but I’ve lost before and I’ll hold my head up high,” Dunstan said. “When I hand over the keys, the county is in the best financial shape of any county in the state of Illinois. I’m proud of the work I’ve done for the last 14 years; I enjoyed it and thought I did a good job. But the bottom line is, I didn’t get enough votes to keep it.”

Prenzler could not be immediately reached for comment.

Dunstan has served more than 30 years on the county board, and says that his highest achievements in this term have been reducing the county’s tax levy for three years in a row — $1.6 million less this year than last year, he said. He also said they have now rebuilt the county levees to the 100-year level, and describes the county as being in the strongest financial position of any county in Illinois.

Prenzler was first elected as treasurer in 2010, and has not held other elected office. He was the first GOP county-wide officer since current Congressman John Shimkus served from 1990 to 1996. In his six years as treasurer, Prenzler said his highest achievements have been keeping delinquent tax sale interest rates under 4 percent, reducing the operating cost of his office by 30 percent, and changing Madison County’s investment strategy.

On the Madison County Board, at least three Democratic incumbents lost their seats to Republican challengers, and in open seats, Republicans mostly defeated Democrats and incumbents. This changes the composition of the county board: from 18 Democrats to 10 Republicans, the balance is now 15 Republicans to 13 Democrats. Robert Pollard of East Alton is an independent.

In other results:

• In District 2, Republican Donald Moore defeated independent Tyler Oberkfell 2,495 to 2,143, after a contentious race in which Moore attempted to have Oberkfell removed from the ballot for being two signatures short on his petition. Moore’s request was originally denied, then restored by Circuit Judge John Baricevic. However, the state appeals court placed a stay on Baricevic’s order pending its own review.

• In District 3, Republican Philip Chapman defeated independent Chris Durbin 2,914 to 2, 348 with all 10 precincts reporting.

• In District 4, incumbent Kelly Tracy has lost her seat to challenger David Michael for District 4 2,442 to 2,594 with all eight precincts reporting.

Tracy posted on Facebook that she hoped people would “see through the lies and negative mailers, but that just was not the case.”

“I am proud of the campaign that I ran and I will hold my head high for the work that I have done for the people in my community. At the end of the day, a positive outlook will always be the best option,” she wrote. “In the end, I was targeted because I am a loudmouth woman that always fights for what is right and always speaks her mind. And no negative mailers will ever change that. My work is far from done. And this next chapter is just beginning.”

• In District 6, Republican Raymond Wesley defeated Democrat Brad Beck 2,625 to 1,788 with all eight precincts reporting.

• In District 13, Republican James Futrell narrowly defeated Democrat Greg McCalley 1,988 to 1,950 with all nine precincts reporting.

• In District 15, incumbent Democrat Bill Robertson has lost his seat to Republican challenger Chris Slusser 2,125 to 1,558 with all eight precincts reporting.

• In District 17, incumbent Democrat Ann Gorman defeated Republican challenger Bob Hulme 2,736 to 1,587 with all seven precincts reporting.

• In District 18, incumbent Democrat Jack Minner defeated Republican challenger Fred Schulte 2,608 to 2,154 with all eight precincts reporting.

• In District 19, Democrat Michael Charles Parkinson has defeated Republican challenger Kathy Goclan 2,352 to 1,950 with all eight precincts reporting.

• In District 26, Republican Erica Conway Harriss defeated Democrat Ross Breckenridge 2,564 to 2,145 with all six precincts reporting.

• In District 27, Republican challenger Clint Jones has defeated incumbent Democrat Joe Semanisin 2,573 to 2,077 with all precincts reporting.

• In District 28, incumbent Democrat Liz Dalton has defeated Republican challenger Harold Lee Wathan Jr. 2,212 to 1,566 with all seven precincts reporting.

• District 1 incumbent Republican Judy Kuhn, District 7 Republican incumbent Michael Walters, District 11 incumbent Republican Brad Maxwell, District 20 incumbent Democrat Kristen Novacich, District 22 incumbent Democrat Nick Petrillo, District 25 incumbent Republican Lisa Ciampoli, and District 29 incumbent Democrat Larry Trucano are running unopposed.

Meanwhile, incumbent state’s attorney Tom Gibbons defeated challenger Ronald Williams 65,798 to 57,013 with all precincts reporting. Other county officials, including Circuit Clerk Mark Von Nida, Recorder Amy Meyer, Coroner Steve Nonn and Auditor Rick Faccin, were unopposed.

All vote totals are final but unofficial until certified by election officials.

Elizabeth Donald: 618-239-2507, @BNDedonald