Stark County Republicans who have not already voted will go to the polls Tuesday to select delegates to the party’s national convention who are pledged to one of the four remaining serious presidential candidates.
Locally, five Republican candidates in county board district 1 are vying for four positions; district one is roughly the east half of the county.
There is also a race on the Republican ballot between Associate Judge Kate Gorman of Washington, Illinois and Matthew Hoppock of Peoria for full circuit judge of the 10th judicial district, which includes Stark County.
In addition, there is a “beauty contest” at the top of the ballot among six presidential candidates. This vote is of no value to the candidates in selecting delegates to the convention, but it does provide a statewide total that will determine a “winner.”
The 18th congressional district will select four delegates to go to the national convention in July in Tampa. Candidates Mitt Romney, Newt Gingirch, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul all have four delegate candidates on the ballot.
Mike Bigger of Wyoming is one of the four candidates for delegate pledged to Newt Gingrich.
For the first time in history, Stark County has been divided into two congressional districts. Voters in Elmira and Osceola townships are now in the 16th District, where the candidates are first term U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger of the Joliet area and veteran U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo of Rockford.
Aaron Schock is unopposed in the 18th District, which encompasses the rest of Stark County.
Candidates for county board in district 1 are, in their order on the ballot, L. Lynn Newton, Coleen Magnussen, John T. (Tom) Howes, Richard St. John and Jamie Schaffer.
(The News has asked each candidate to submit a brief statement of candidacy if he or she wishes, which are published elsewhere in this paper.)
Candidates for county board in district 2 include Andrew Jackson (Republican) and Robert Mueller (Democrat). The two will likely be elected as there are four vacancies in the district. After the election, the leaders of the majority party in the election will appoint two persons to fill the two remaining vacancies.
Also on the ballot is that of “Shall Stark County [outside the municipalities] have the authority to arrange for the supply of electricity for its residential and small commercial retail customers who have not opted out of such a program.”
This is basically a question of whether residents outside municipalities in the county would favor having the county select a power provider other than Ameren, and at a lower cost than Ameren charges at present. Ameren would continue to distribute the electricity to users, as it does now, and billing would also come via Ameren.
In this primary election, voters declare their party when they ask for either a Republican or Democratic ballot; however, voters can change their party affiliation at any time. Thus it is possible for a Democrat or independent to ask for a Republican ballot on March 20 and then at the next primary ask for the Democratic ballot.
In other words, anyone who wishes may ask for Tuesday’s Republican primary ballot, although most of those voting will be regular, continuing Republicans.