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Bureau County voters decide county-wide races

Herrmann, Wamhoff and Romanelli Dremann get the nod

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012 11:20 a.m. CST • Updated: Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012 4:40 p.m. CST
Caption
(BCR photo/Lyle Ganther)
Democrats Dawn Reglin (left), running for circuit clerk, and Janice Wamhoff (center), running for coroner, look at results Tuesday night in the Bureau County Courthouse with current circuit clerk Laurie Abrahams.
Caption
(BCR photo/Lyle Ganther)
Republicans Desiree Sierens, running for state's attorney, and Mary Romanelli Dremann, running for circuit clerk, talk Tuesday night at the Bureau County Courthouse waiting for election results to be counted.
Caption
(BCR photo/Lyle Ganther)
Democrats Dawn Reglin, running for circuit clerk, and Patrick Herrmann, running for state's attorney, look over election results Tuesday night at the Bureau County Courthouse.

Bureau County Circuit Clerk

PRINCETON — The race for Bureau County Circuit Clerk may appear to be over ... but not quite yet.

In Tuesday's election, Mary Romanelli Dremann beat challenger Dawn Reglin by only 97 votes, for a 50.3 percent to 49.7 percent margin. However, there are still 124 absentee ballots out there, which could make a difference in the outcome of the race, Bureau County Clerk Kami Hieronymus said Wednesday morning.

To be counted, the absentee ballots must have been postmarked by Nov. 5 and received in her office by Nov. 20.

Though Dremann is the unofficial winner, the official final count won't take place until the Nov. 20 deadline is reached and ballots are counted, Hieronymus said, adding there are a lot of variables to take into account with the final tally, including how many of the 124 absentee ballots are returned, having the proper postmark and by the Nov. 20 deadline, and just how many of those ballots are cast for either candidate.

On Wednesday, Dremann said she's confident her victory will prevail since the number of absentee ballots out there isn't that huge.

Dremann thanked all the voters and her family and supporters, the door-knockers and parade walkers, for their support during the campaign. She also thanked Reglin for running a clean campaign.

"I am disappointed by the outcome of the election," Reglin said. "It was a very close race. I wish Mary well. I would like to thank everyone that has supported me and offered guidance. I couldn't have done it without all the support."

Dremann is a Republican from Princeton, Reglin is a Democrat from Manlius.

Bureau County Coroner

PRINCETON — Longtime Bureau County Coroner Janice Wamhoff has won her first election as county coroner.

In recent years, the county coroner position has been appointed by the Bureau County Board, but a referendum placed before voters by the county board in 2010 determined the coroner position would now be an elected one.

Wamhoff, a Democrat from Princeton, beat out challenger Randy Grant, a Republican from Wyanet, with 11,150 votes for Wamhoff and 5,073 votes for Grant.

On Wednesday, Wamhoff thanked the voters and her supporters in helping her win the coroner race.

"It is not something I ever could have done by myself; it took a whole community to help me do this," Wamhoff said. "I am very pleased that I had as many people that supported me and wanted me back as their coroner. I take a lot of pride in that fact."

Having never gone through an election before, Wamhoff said she was all for electing the coroner at the beginning, but then about mid-year she began questioning why she wanted to do this.

"But I knew it was best for the voters. They needed to be able to elect who they want for their coroner," Wamhoff said.

On Wednesday, Grant said he's thankful for all the people who voted for him and even for those who voted against him. The important thing is for the people to vote, he said.

"The people of Bureau County have spoken and elected their first coroner," Grant said.

Looking ahead to another four years, Grant said it's too soon to decide whether he will run again for the office of coroner, but he has gotten his name out there before the public.

Wamhoff has served as county coroner since 1988.

Bureau County State's Attorney

Bureau County State's Attorney Patrick Herrmann has been re-elected to his office after Tuesday's victory over challenger Desiree Bromme Sierens.

Herrmann, a Democrat from Spring Valley, received 9,361 votes, to Sierens' 6,883 votes. Sierens, a Republican, is originally from Sheffield but lives now in Marengo.

On Wednesday, Herrmann said his last contested race for state's attorney was 12 years ago, and his numbers are up from that year.

"I'm encouraged by that," Herrmann said. "Based on those numbers, I could be here for a long time."

In looking at Tuesday's victory, Herrmann thanked his staff and the public for their support. It has been an honor to serve the public, and he looks forward to continuing his service, he said.

Herrmann has been state's attorney since 1998.

On Wednesday, Sierens also thanked her supporters, saying she was pleased with the number of people who did vote for her on Tuesday.

Referendums

Tiskilwa voters have passed a referendum to go forward with electric aggregation for their village on a 277 yes to 91 no vote.

Wyanet voters approved a similar referendum to go forward with electric aggregation, on a 267 yes to 130 no vote.

Bureau County voters also voted on a state amendment which would require a three-fifths vote of each chamber of the General Assembly or the governing body of a unit local government, school district or pension or retirement system, in order to increase a benefit under any public pension or retirement system. On the county-level, the amendment passed on a 8,041 yes to 6,654 no vote. However, with about 92 percent of the statewide vote reported by press time on Wednesday morning, the proposed amendment has failed.

Comment on this story at www.bcrnews.com.

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