Election Notebook: One vote makes a difference in Camp Point; write-in races have two outcomes

Emily Schuering-Jones fills our her ballot with the help of her kids, Ingrid, Elena and Henry, at the Calvary Baptist Church polling place Tuesday in Quincy. She's taken her kids to vote with her in every election. (H-W Photo/Phil Carlson)
Posted: Apr. 10, 2013 10:01 am Updated: Apr. 24, 2013 10:15 am


The mayoral race in Camp Point came down to one vote.

Jerry Gunn received 163 votes Tuesday, one more than three-term incumbent Richard Dieterle. Gunn, a longtime Camp Point businessman, unsuccessfully ran against Dieterle in the last election.

Gunn received a phone call from a couple who weren't sure if they were going to have time to vote after attending a grandchild's activity but did manage to get to the polling place in time.

The couple joked it may have been their vote that made the difference.

Returns for the Liberty mayor race indicates that two-term incumbent Jamie Hahn may have been defeated by a write-in candidate.

Hahn received 57 votes, but there were 72 write-in votes, according to a report from Adams County Clerk Georgia Volm. The names on the write-ins were not yet available from the clerk's office.

Volm said the ballots will be reviewed before making the total official.

Stacy Clark ran a major door-to-door campaign in Liberty.

Oh-for-two: Ronnie McKenzie didn't have much luck as a write-in for alderman in Quincy's 1st Ward. He received only 40 votes, just 4 percent of the total votes cast, while incumbent Virgil Goehl had 857.

McKenzie also finished eighth out of eight candidates running for three spots on the Quincy School Board. He received 1,518 votes, finishing more than 3,000 behind third-place finisher Sheldon Bailey, more than 4,500 votes behind second-place finisher Sayeed Ali and more than 5,000 votes behind top vote-getter Richard McNay.

However, McKenzie was not dismayed.

"I personally feel good about the School Board race," McKenzie said. "(The votes he received) sends a signal that the community wants some diversity and some change on the School Board."

Keeping them close to his heart: While he gave his concession speech to a packed house at his election headquarters in downtown Quincy, Mayor John Spring showed the crowd a photo of him and his oldest grandchild, Sarah Staff.

He said he kept the photo with him throughout the campaign trail over the last few months.

"She and I have just been buddies forever," Spring said. "I've always thought that was real special. Of course, my other grandchildren -- Jack, Mike, Albert, Eric and Harrison -- are all very special to me, too. She just reminds me of my daughter, Stacey. She has been a real plus for me."

During a live interview on WGEM on Tuesday night, Spring made sure to have all of his grandchildren who were in town with him.

What's next?: Republicans took control of the Quincy City Council in 2011 by holding 10 of 14 seats. Two years later, the GOP is in charge of the mayor's office for the first time since 1985 and still holds the same super-majority among aldermen.

When Mayor-elect Kyle Moore takes office next month, Treasurer Peggy Crim will be the highest-ranking Democrat in a citywide position. She has been in office since 2001.

"I really think it shows that the citizens are ready for a change," Crim said of Moore's victory. "The Democrats have been in control for 28 years. We saw that two years ago with the council. We have to reorganize, regroup and see where we can go from here."

Crim finished with the highest vote total in the two contested citywide races, besting Moore's total by 84 votes even though there were 152 fewer votes cast in the treasurer's race than in the mayoral contest.

Just the stats: Before meeting with the assembled media at his headquarters, Spring told how many City Councils meetings he has presided over. The total? 447. He'll make it to 450, providing he oversees the final three meetings this month before the change of the guard on May 6.

Uncontested races: Two Democratic incumbents -- City Clerk Jenny Hayden and Assesor Roy Points -- faced no opposition in their re-election bids. Cindy Brink, a Republican, was the only candidate for township supervisor, replacing the retiring Steve Schrage.

Aldermen Dave Bauer (D-2), Tony Sassen (R-4), Mike Rein (R-5) and Jack Holtschlag (D-7) also ran unopposed.