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Democrats retain control of Peoria County Board, and other local takeaways from Tuesday's midterm election

It appears Democrats will retain control of the Peoria County Board, albeit with a slightly smaller margin.

Elections results from Tuesday show the party with a 10-8 majority on the county board, down from the current 11-7.

The closest race was in District 8, a slice of northwest Peoria stretching roughly from Charter Oak Road in the south to Alta Road in the north. Republican Nathan Hoerr leads Democrat Kanika Jones by just 60 votes. There's a possibility that margin could change slightly with the late arrivals of mail-in ballots postmarked by election day.

The incumbents running for reelection managed to retain their seats. They'll be joined by incoming Democrats Camille Coates and Danny Phelan; and Republicans Daniel Kelch and Terrence "Terry" Ruhland.

The county board will need to select new leadership. Board chairman Andrew Rand (D) and vice chairman Jim Fennell (R) both declined to run for new terms.

Voter turnout in Peoria County came in at 49.3%. That's several percentage points lower than the 2018 midterm election.

Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker carried Peoria County by about 700 votes in his gubernatorial matchup versus Republican state Sen. Darren Bailey. Pritzker also carried Peoria County in his 2018 matchup against then-Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, state treasurer Michael Frerichs, and state comptroller Susana Mendoza also claimed victories in Peoria County.

Republican attorney general candidate Tom DeVore, a noted opponent of COVID-19 mandates during the height of the pandemic, received more votes than incumbent Democrat Kwame Raoul, by a 49.5% to 48.2% margin. Libertarian Daniel Robin made up the difference.

State Rep. Dan Brady, R-Bloomington, also came in about five points ahead of former state treasurer Alexi Giannoulias in the race to succeed Jesse White as Illinois Secretary of State in Peoria County. Giannoulias won that race.

Democrats swept these contests across the board on the statewide level.

In the hotly-contested 17th Congressional District toss-up, Democrat Eric Sorensen led Republican Esther Joy King by about 4,800 votes in Peoria County, a 57% to 43% margin. King conceded Wednesday morning to Sorensen, a former TV meteorologist.

Incumbent state Sen. Dave Koehler carried the 46th district by a large margin Tuesday night. Coupled with strong support in the McLean County portion of the newly-redrawn district, Koehler headed to another four-year term with 58% of the vote over Republican challenger Desi Anderson of Carlock.

State Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth, D-Peoria, cruised to victory over Republican challenger Benjamin Watt.

In the new 91st District, Democrat Sharon Chung was victorious at the end of Tuesday night, with the win coming largely due to strong Democratic support in McLean County. In the Peoria County portion of the district, which includes Bartonville, Chung came up short to Republican opponent Scott Preston, 55% to 45%. Both Chung and Preson are from Bloomington-Normal.

Peoria County voters moved to eliminate the office of elected auditor in 2024, by a 70-30 margin. The binding ballot question is the source of litigation, and acrimony between the county board and the auditor's office.

In a symbolic victory for so-called "fair maps" proponents, Peoria Township voters strongly approved an advisory referendum asking if an independent citizen commission should take over the political mapmaking process. The Illinois Supreme Court has twice blocked a state amendment question.

Tim is the News Director at WCBU Peoria Public Radio.