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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Voter turnout low for elections

Thursday, April 12, 2012

3d rendering of a badge for the 2008 presidential election
In the most sweeping race in Oregon County on April 3, voters elected former Alton Alderman Steven Crigler as its new mayor with 81 percent of the vote.

The closest among all county races was in Koshkonong, where newcomer Frank Bernard lost by 1 vote in a bid for alderman. In Thayer, incumbent Alderman Mike Harber defeated former Alderman Robert "Bob" Freeman by two votes. Freeman gave up his seat on the board last year in an unsuccessful bid for mayor.

In Koshkonong, incumbent school board member Joan Billingsley was nearly ousted by a write-in candidate for her two-year seat.

Overall, voter turnout averaged 16 percent, with the highest percentage (almost 23 percent) in Alton's Piney 1 precinct. The lowest turnout was in Thayer's South Ward with less than 14 percent. The other three precincts had voter turnouts of about 15 percent.

Of 7,311 registered Oregon County voters, 560 went to the polls.

Among those with crowded ballots, Thayer took the top spot with four vying for two school board positions and seven seeking election to two aldermen positions, although two candidates later dropped out of the race.

Couch did not have a school board election, with three candidates filing for the three open positions: incumbents Tim Garrison and Larry Janes and newcomer Robert Cicigoi.

Alton School Board also did not have an election. Incumbent Brad Alexander filed, as did newcomer Steve Mills for the two positions there. Incumbent Edd Hatten did not file.

School boards


Incumbent Sheila Miller lost her three-year seat and Noval Willbanks did not seek a new term, opening the way for three newcomers to compete. The following totals include Howell County votes:

Three-year term

Sheila Miller49
Reggie Richardson58
Tom Lewallen87
Bobby Coursey47

One-year term

Joan Billingsley67
Ron McNear51


After being defeated in April 2011, incumbent board member Doyle Fink failed again to win back his seat. Incumbent Carrie Tucker also was defeated, although Randy Ward kept his seat. Karen Cotham won her first bid for the position.

Two, three-year terms

Carrie Tucker117
Doyle D. Fink87
Karen Cotham237
Randy Ward215

City races


Current Alderman Steven Crigler defeated James Hollis for the mayor. Mayor Richard Haigwood did not file.

Incumbent Alderman Tom Young and newcomer Tony Roberts did not face challengers for the two aldermen-at-large positions.


James Hollis19
Steven B. Crigler83


Tom Young 87
Tony Roberts68


Mayor Tom Lowe did not face a challenger. Incumbent aldermen Jeremy Whittingham and Rachel Prince, who were both appointed mid-term after two aldermen moved, defeated newcomer Frank Bernard, a former Thayer Police chief.


Tom Lowe14


Frank Bernard7
Rachel Prince12
Jeremy Whittingham8


Incumbent North Ward Alderman Mike Harber and South Ward Alderman Robert Steve Alford retained their seats against a host of challengers. Although four candidates were listed on the South Ward ballot, David L. Daily and Susan Garvin moved from the area after ballots were printed.

Jacqueline Bunting, wife of former Alton assistant police chief Michael Bunting, made her first bid for the North Ward seat.

North Ward

Mike Harber53
Robert "Bob" Freeman51
Jacqueline Bunting16

South Ward

Robert Steve Alford75
David L. Daily6
Leslie Bigger20
Susan Garvin9

Thayer Special

Road District

Buzz Reynolds194
Stoney Cypret139

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