URBANA — The field for this fall's Champaign County Board elections became clearer Tuesday night as Republicans nominated candidates in Districts 1 and 3 and Democrats selected candidates in Districts 7 and 11.
Republicans John Jay and Gary Maxwell won a three-way race over Gerald W. Smith for two seats in District 1. The winners will face Democrat Eric Thorsland in the fall.
Jay led the way with 1,840 votes, with Maxwell finishing second with 1,431 votes. Smith was third with 1,230 votes.
Maxwell thanked his supporters.
"I ran because I believe government should live within its means," Maxwell said. "I want to study the need for jail improvements before we go too far in the process."
In District 3, Aaron Esry and Stanley C. Harper defeated Stanley S. "Steve" O'Connor for two county board seats.
Esry topped vote-getters with 1,660 votes, and Harper garnered 1,658 votes. O'Connor finished third with 1,233 votes.
"I was appointed to the county board last year, and I like what I have seen so far," Esry said. "When it comes to county government, the pros outweigh the cons. I appreciate any and all persons who voted for me."
O'Connor said Farm Bureau support for his two opponents was a big factor in the election.
"The Farm Bureau brought all its big guns against me with mailings, quasi-post cards and ads, financed by the Farm Bureau political involvement committee," O'Connor said.
No Democrat was on the primary ballot in District 3.
Democrats Rachel Schwartz and Alan Kurtz won a three-way race over Tod Satterthwaite, a former Urbana mayor, for two seats in District 7. They will face write-in Republican candidate Philip Fiscella.
Schwartz led with 552 votes, with Kurtz not far behind with 480 votes. Satterthwaite finished third with 347 votes.
"I want to thank all my constituents," Kurtz said Tuesday night. "I have confidence I will work for their needs, and I will work across the aisle with my Republican counterparts to have a productive county board."
In District 11, incumbents Lorraine Cowart and Lloyd Carter defeated Brent West for two county board seats.
Cowart garnered the most votes with 467, followed by Carter with 386. West finished third with 142 votes.
"I'd like to thank all the voters, win or lose, for the support they put behind me," Cowart said. "I will do my best to speak on the board for them. We need to deal with the design phase for the county jail and see whether it is feasible to renovate the downtown jail."
No Republican was on the primary ballot in District 11.