Tuesday’s primary election has come and gone, and, as with any election, a few storylines stand out.
First and foremost, we offer congratulations to those who won their primary races, including Republicans Bill Prim (McHenry County sheriff), Mary McClellan (McHenry County clerk) and Glenda Miller (McHenry County treasurer).
The biggest winners Tuesday night, however, were McHenry County residents who care about accountability in government.
As of 2016, the County Board chairman will no longer be held accountable to only other County Board members and the voters in his or her district. Instead, the County Board chairman will be elected countywide by all voters in McHenry County.
Voters indicated this was their wish, passing a referendum saying so with 18,722 “yes” votes to 14,134 “no” votes. Results, of course, are unofficial until the votes are canvased in two weeks.
Speaking of votes, not nearly enough of them were cast Tuesday in McHenry County. Of the 204,440 voters registered in the county, only 16.97 percent of them – or 34,688 – voted. That’s pathetic.
Think your vote doesn’t count? Andrew Zinke might disagree with you. Nancy Gonsiorek, too. So would Ersel Schuster.
Zinke lost to Prim in his bid for the sheriff’s nomination by 98 votes. Gonsiorek lost her bid for a Republican nomination in County Board District 3 by 28 votes. And Schuster, an incumbent, missed out on a Republican nomination in County Board District 6 by 62 votes.
Your vote does matter.
Looking ahead to the November general election, a couple things stand out.
First, how will the Republican Party in McHenry County look after a change in leadership come April? And will a fractured party rally behind Prim in a sheriff’s race against Jim Harrison, who indicated Wednesday he still planned to run for sheriff as an independent?
Secondly, will the Democratic Party in the county step up and give voters a choice come November? There will be contested County Board races, but, as of now, Democrats have nobody slated to run against Prim and Harrison (sheriff), McClellan (clerk), Miller (treasurer), Karen McConnaughay (33rd state Senate), Barb Wheeler (64th state Representative), Steven Andersson (65th state representative) or Mike Tryon (66th state Representative).
Oct. 7 is the last day to register to vote for November’s general election. If you aren’t registered, please do so. If you are registered or will be, make sure you exercise your right to vote.