Hansen won't challenge Dem primary result; Goetten undecided

URBANA — One local candidate who narrowly lost a primary election contest last month has decided not to challenge the result, but a congressional candidate who also lost a close race is still waiting to decide.

Lori Hansen, who lost the Champaign County Democratic Party contest for circuit clerk by 20 votes, said Wednesday that she will not contest the results. In fact, she said she planned to meet with the winner, former county board chairwoman Barbara Wysocki, today.

"I am not going to" challenge, said Hansen, a law librarian at the courthouse, who said she enjoyed the primary election contest. "Overall it was really educational and exciting. I enjoyed having the chance to meet and talk to a lot of great people.

"I just don't know what to do with all of these yard signs I have."

Hansen finished the three-way Democratic circuit clerk race with 2,676 votes to 2,696 for Wysocki and 1,913 for Evelyn Underwood. All three candidates are from Urbana.

The Republican candidate for circuit clerk will be determined tonight when GOP precinct committeemen meet to choose their candidate from among four applicants: Sam Anderson, Katie Malone, Stephanie Holderfield and A.J. Ruggieri.

Rick Winkel, who won the Republican primary election for circuit clerk, has declined the nomination.

Meanwhile, the man who appears to have lost the 13th Congressional District Democratic primary election still hasn't decided whether to challenge his loss by 162 votes.

A spokesman for Democrat Matt Goetten, the state's attorney in Greene County, said Goetten is still waiting to decide whether to contest his loss to David Gill, a Bloomington physician. The decision is likely to come after the State Board of Elections certifies the results. The board's next meeting is scheduled for April 20 in Chicago.

But Gill's spokesman, Michael Richards, said it is time for the Democratic Party "to move on united to the general election."

Vote totals from various election authorities in the district show that Gill received 15,535 votes to Goetten's 15,373, according to the Gill campaign.

"Democrats had a spirited campaign, and 31,000 citizens went to the polls to decide on who our nominee should be," Richards noted. "By contrast, 14 GOP party bosses will decide who the eventual Republican candidate for Congress will be. Republican voters have every right to be angry that their voices aren't being heard."

U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson, who won the Republican primary, has since announced his retirement. His replacement on the ballot will be chosen by county chairmen in the 13th District either in late April or early May.

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