Wall advances in Vermilion judge race
DANVILLE — After almost four years as an associate judge in Vermilion County, Karen Wall now has the chance to become a resident circuit judge after winning the Democratic party's nomination by more than 700 votes in Tuesday's primary.
Wall, 41, of rural Danville, beat two local attorneys for her party's nomination and will now face Thomas M. O'Shaughnessy, the Vermilion County recorder of deeds and an attorney from Catlin, in November's general election. O'Shaughnessy ran unopposed for the Republican nomination for the judge's seat. According to unofficial election results, Wall garnered 1,311 votes while private attorney Dan Brown, 57, of Danville got 596 votes and private attorney Edwin Barney, 40, of Westville, picked up 388.
Wall said Tuesday night that she is "very humbled by the results."
"The support I got from the citizens speaks volumes, and I'm pleased with the results," said Wall, who was a private attorney with the Spiros & Wall firm prior to being appointed an associate judge in 2010.
Wall said she anticipates a tough race against O'Shaughnessy in November.
"But with organization and the ongoing support that I've received, and hard work, I think that it will be a good race," she said.
In the three other contested primary races in Vermilion County on Tuesday:
County board District 1. In the Republican primary, incumbent Todd Johnson, 32, of Rossville, finished first in the three-way race with 640 votes.
Larry Baughn, 32, a Hoopeston alderman, received 604 votes and will join Johnson in moving on to November's general election. Newcomer Darrell Cambron, 59, of rural Rankin, finished third with 127 votes.
There are two open seats in District 1, and no Democrats have filed in a district that covers northern Vermilion County, including Hoopeston, Rossville, Rankin and Henning.
The other incumbent, Chris Leigh, R-Hoopeston, decided not to run.
County board District 5. In the Democrat primary, newcomer Chad Turner finished first in the three-way race with 124 votes.
Turner, 42, of rural Danville, will move on to the general election along with the second-place vote-getter, incumbent John L. Criswell, 73, of Tilton, who received 111 votes.
Robert "Jim" Watson, 64, of Tilton, received 95 votes, losing his bid to move on to the general election.
And although the other incumbent, Orick "Corky" Nightlinger, dropped out of the race earlier this year because he will be moving out of the district, it was not in time to remove his name from the ballot. So, Nightlinger actually finished third in the voting with 106 votes.
But only the top two — Turner, a Danville police officer, and Criswell, a Hyster retiree — move on to the general election, where there will be two seats up for grabs in District 5 and no Republicans running. The district includes Tilton and portions of Belgium, Westville and south Danville.
Review board District 3. In the Republican primary, Jay Fruhling of Fairmount garnered 953 votes to beat out fellow Republican Merle K. Buss, of Oakwood, who received 434 votes. Fruhling will face Democrat Robert McMurray of Georgetown in the general election.