PRINCETON— Spring may be just around the corner, but so is the March 18 primary election.
On Monday, Bureau County Clerk Kami Hieronymus said her office is already receiving absentee ballot applications for the upcoming primary. As soon as the applications are processed and the ballots received in her office, then the ballots will be mailed to those requesting them. Her office will probably handle 150 absentee ballots for this year’s primary election, she said.
In previous elections, her office would have processed probably 300 absentee ballots, but that number has decreased since more and more people are taking advantage of early voting by coming into her office. The last election she would have handled probably 600 early voters, on top of the absentee ballots. Early voting begins March 3 this year.
Another important date to remember is Feb. 18, which is the last day to register to vote or to make changes on a current voter registration card, like a change of address.
Looking ahead to the March 18 primary, Hieronymus said the only two contested county-wide races are both on the Republican Party side, for the offices of Bureau County Sheriff and Bureau County Treasurer.
Candidates for the Republican nomination for the sheriff’s office are Allan Beaber of Princeton, William Rosenow of Sheffield, Alexander Arauza of Princeton and James Shipp of rural Princeton. The winner of the Republican nomination in March will face James Reed of Arlington, who is running unopposed for the Democratic Party nomination for sheriff in the November general election.
Candidates for the Republican nomination for the Bureau County Treasurer’s office are Courtney Yates-Mabry of Princeton and Derek Whited of Princeton. The winner of the primary will face Democratic Party challenger Rick Wilkin of Ohio in the November election.
There was one Bureau County resident who filed her candidate packet by the July 16 deadline for write-in candidates for the primary, Hieronymus said. Current county treasurer Nina Urbanowski, who is not seeking re-election for that office, filed her Republican Party candidacy for Bureau County Board, District 20. She will run unopposed for her party’s nomination. There is no Democratic Party candidate for District 20 on the primary ballot, as current board member Tom Giordano, a Democrat from Ladd, is not seeking re-election.
The political parties do have until the end of May to nominate someone for a vacant position on the primary ballot and to have the person’s named placed on the November general election ballot.
Voters in Spring Valley, Arlington, Tiskilwa and Cherry will also have referendum questions on their primary ballots.
The city of Spring Valley will ask their voters to approve a retail occupation tax increase of 0.5 percent.
The village of Arlington is seeking authorization to change its general corporate fund tax from 0.25 to 0.4375.
The Cherry Grade School District voters will decide on a referendum to deactivate the Cherry Grade School District facility and send its students to Dimmick Community Consolidated Grade School District 175.
Voters in the Tiskilwa Rural Fire Protection District will ask voters to increase the overall corporate fund tax rate from 30 cents to 40 cents on all taxable properties within the district.
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