Ray Thompson wins the District 3 County Board primary by eight votes


Ray Thompson will represent part of Roscoe on the Winnebago County Board.

Ray Thompson, a retired engineer with no political experience, received eight more votes than incumbent John M. Guevara in the Republican primary election for District 3 County Board trustee. There was no Democratic candidate for the post, so now Ray Thompson is set to represent much of Roscoe on the Winnebago County Board after the November 2024 election. The Winnebago County Clerk's Office released the official primary election results on Tuesday, Apr. 2, 2024.

Ray Thompson told us, 

I am deeply grateful and humbled for the trust shown by the voters of Winnebago County District 3, as well as the supporters of our campaign.

Thank you for entrusting me with this opportunity to serve.

Our win by such a narrow margin underscores the importance of every vote - especially in primary elections.

I am committed to representing our district with integrity, and I am eager to address concerns and aspirations of our community after we win the general election in November.

John M. Guevara said on Wednesday, Apr. 3, 2024, “Ray and I enjoyed lunch together last week, and I texted Ray yesterday to congratulate him on the win. I am 100% behind our Republican nominee for District 3!” On his political Facebook page, Guevara posted, "Congratulations to Ray Thompson, our Republican nominee in District 3!"

The Roscoe seat was the county's only competitive race in the Mar. 19 primary election. Among the 705 in-person voters in eleven precincts on Election Night, only five votes separated the challenger Ray Thompson from the incumbent John Guevara. Mail-in ballots increased Thompson's margin of victory by only three more votes, with 736 total votes cast.

RAY THOMPSON 50.54% 372
JOHN M. GUEVARA 49.46% 364

Though Ray Thompson had never run for election before, he is a 30 year resident of Winnebago County, with three daughters and eight grandchildren. He and his family have been active in their church. He has served as technical advisor for Explorer Boy Scouts, mentor at King Elementary School, and volunteer at Rockford Music Academy.

Thompson's work experience includes building an aircraft simulation lab under budget, managing an FAA certification lab, and overseeing a systems team for an international aircraft manufacturer. He recently retired from Collins Aerospace, formerly Sundstrand, where he was an engineer and manager. He holds a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Northern Illinois University in Dekalb and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from UW Madison, with a focus on business strategy.

On the other hand, Guevara holds a degree in political science from Princeton University. He spent seven years as a member of the Winnebago County Board and was vice-chairman of the Winnebago County Republican Central Committee and Illinois chairman of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly. In 2019, he served as Legislative Chief of Staff for State Senator Brian Stewart in his Freeport office.

Countywide, the March 19 general primary election had a 14.55% voter turnout. Twice as many voted for Presidential candidates as for the more crucial local races, even though the Presidential nominees were all but decided. On the Republican ballot, more than 30% voted for Nikki Haley in Legend Lakes in Roscoe Precinct 3, which is not in Thompson's district. Trump received 87% of the votes in Roscoe Precinct 5, in northeastern South Beloit, a precinct which Guevara won by one vote. 

With between 23 and 112 total votes cast per precinct, the 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.

The only two issues at stake in the Mar. 19 election - a successful South Beloit sales tax referendum and the County Board District 3 race between Guevara and Thompson - affected only the far northern precincts of Winnebago County, but voter interest was low here too.

Official results: Clarity Elections

More about the election

Meet the District 3 candidates for Roscoe: Ray Thompson and John Guevara

Ray Thompson: meet the Winnebago County Board District 3 candidates

John Guevara: meet the Winnebago County Board District 3 candidates

Area residents get to know the candidates

Winnebago County Board candidates for Roscoe: Who claims what? Who's right?

More News from Roscoe
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Your attempt at quality journalism is laughable. Donald Trump won an election with no political experience as well. Mr. Thompson's lack of experience has nothing to do with how the people have voted. Clearly constituents want a change and THAT is what is worth reporting. 

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Thank you for your input. It does seem like some people must have wanted a change, or else they wouldn't have voted for the less experienced candidate. Though I'm not sure that 8 votes is statistically significant. If you live in Roscoe, Rockton, or South Beloit, you're welcome to post an entire opinion piece on the subject. I would probably require you to use your name, though.

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