March 2024 primary election results for far northern Winnebago County


Two precincts held primary elections at Roscoe's Cross and Crown Lutheran Church on Tuesday, Mar. 19, 2024.

Final election results were posted on Winnebago County's official Clarity Elections website on Tuesday April 2, 2024. After all the vote by mail ballots were counted, Ray Thompson won the County Board District 3 primary by eight votes.

The March 19 general primary election had a voter turnout as low as 10%, so it only included a tiny number of eligible voters. Interest was low in most of Winnebago County, since only two issues were at stake in the far northern precincts: a South Beloit referendum and the County Board District 3 seat.

Vote by mail ballots have yet to be counted, but the South Beloit 1% sales tax referendum is comfortably winning 58% to 42% - 405 to 290, out of 695 votes tabulated on the official website.

The next morning, Allen E. Watts, Chief Deputy at the Winnebago County Clerk’s Office, told us that "the website is current / up to date with everything that was counted on Election Day."

Vote by mail ballots will decide the county's only competitive race, for the Winnebago County Board District 3 seat. Among in-person voters in eleven precincts, only a few votes separate the challenger Ray Thompson from incumbent John Guevara

Guevara, a veteran of many elections, told us, "The clerk’s office doesn’t know how many mail in ballots are outstanding."

Thompson, who is currently leading by five votes (355-350), agreed, commenting, "We live in interesting times." 

District 3 includes residents of eleven precincts in Roscoe, Rockton, and Harlem Townships. Numbers were so small as to be statistically insignificant, but Guevara (dark green) received more votes in certain precincts, while Thompson (cyan blue) was more popular in others. Voters were split in some precincts (beige). One of Guevara's strengths was in Roscoe Precinct 11, north of Hononegah Road. One of Thompson's strengths was in Rockton Precinct 13.

Twice as many voted for Presidential candidates as for the local races, even though the Presidential nominees are all but decided. On the Republican ballot, more than 30% voted for Nikki Haley in Legend Lakes in Roscoe Precinct 3, while 87%  voted for Trump in Roscoe Precinct 5, in northeastern South Beloit.

Jim Webster received 847 votes for Winnebago County Board District 2. The Republican has served at the post for several terms and was the only candidate.

Roscoe resident, Bill Crowley, a Democrat, won the unopposed primary election for County Auditor on the Democratic ballot. Crowley had no Republican challenger in the November election. 

Likewise, several Republican incumbents are also certain to be reelected in November, having no opposition then or now. Jennifer Muraski will continue as Winnebago County Coroner, J. Hanley as State's Attorney, Joseph Chiarelli as County Board Chairman, and Tom Klein as Circuit Clerk. Each received about 7,200 votes out of 92,510 registered voters in Winnebago County.

Far northern Illinois will continue to be represented by Republican legislators State Representative John Cabello, State Senator Andrew Chesney, and Congressman Darin LaHood. While Democrat-controlled redistricting makes it hard for Republicans to win state elections in Rockford, it makes it easy for Republicans to win in the 90th and 45th districts outside of Rockford. None of the three men had primary opponents in March 2024 nor any Democrats preparing to run against them in November.

In other news, 2022 Republican candidate for governor Darren Bailey lost his primary bid to replace U.S. Rep. Mike Bost in Congress.

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