Princeton Republican captures 61 percent of the vote
PRINCETON — After 22 years of service to Bureau County, Clerk and Recorder Kami Hieronymus will be handing the reins over to her successor, Matt Eggers of Princeton.
Eggers, the Republican candidate for Bureau County clerk in Tuesday's election, defeated Democratic candidate Jeralyn Backes of Spring Valley with 61 percent of the vote (8,258) to Backes' 39 percent (5,270).
Following his win, Eggers said he was "gratified by the overwhelming vote of confidence.
"I will work hard every day to live up to the faith voters have put in me. I thank the voters, my family, Kami Hieronymus, and all my volunteers and supporters," he said.
Eggers also congratulated Backes for "waging a vigorous campaign."
"I wish her well," he said.
With this being Eggers' first contested campaign, he said it was a lot of hard work, a lot of going door-to-door, but he had a lot of help and support.
"It took a lot of perseverance to keep going. I didn't encounter a lot of adversity from people when I walked door-to-door, so that was nice, but I just kept going," he said.
After being sworn into his new position, Eggers said he plans to look at possible improvements within the clerk's office. One idea he mentioned is creating more space within the office by transitioning to electronic record keeping.
Eggers said he also plans to keep up with election laws to ensure Bureau County stays in line and will be sure election software is safeguarded and maintains its integrity.
Backes spent Tuesday night surrounded by friends, family and supporters at Valley Bar & Grill in Spring Valley. With this also being her first contested campaign, Backes said she learned to be thick-skinned.
"I ran a really good, clean campaign, and I always said I was going to take the high road. … You have to have tough skin, and I now understand why people don't want to run," she said.
Backes thanked Bureau County voters and supporters of her campaign.
"I congratulate my opponent. Thank you to my team and my parents and my family for going through this journey with me. It's been an experience — either way, I feel like I've won because of the love and support I received from so many," she said.