Garrison defeats Bellm in State’s Attorney’s race
By: JACKSON WILSON
Enquirer Democrat Reporter
In the Democratic Party race for the office of Macoupin County State’s Attorney, Jordan Garrison received 59 percent of votes en route to his 2,218-1,474 victory over Aaron Bellm in Tuesday’s primary state attorney election.
“Aaron ran a wonderful campaign but I think the key factor for me was that I had a some experience in the office,” Garrison said Garrison. “I’ve also been dedicated to this county for the past decade. I would like to thank everyone who voted. The most important part of this entire process is getting out and supporting your candidate of choice.”
“The whole night he was ahead 60-40 it seemed like,” Bellm said. “It’s disappointing, I thought we ran a good campaign. The big question was what was the impact gonna be of this COVID-19.”
Bellm pointed out the Dorchester 2 precinct, most of Wilsonville, which had 531 voters, had just 60 voters participate. It was a turnout of just 11.2 percent.
“Girard was way down, too,” he said. “I think that was in consideration of the fact that they had to close down County Market.”
Combined, the Girard 1 and 2 precincts had just 121 ballots cast in the Democratic state’s attorney’s race among 1,433 registered voters, which was a turnout of just 8.4 percent.
“It’s hard to say, we’ll never know,” Garrison said.
The state’s attorney’s spot is the only countywide office in which the individual elected does not have to reside in the county.
Bellm said he’ll support Garrison’s candidacy in the general election.
“I’ll fall in line,” he said. “We’ve been very good about not letting this race impact our relationship with each other. It wasn’t something personal.”
Despite the loss, Bellm was grateful for those who supported his campaign.
“I greatly appreciate their help and support in my endeavor,” Bellm said. Unfoturnately, we fell short. The people had a choice. This is first time in 15 years the voters in Macoupin County had a choice in who was gonna be their state’s attorney and I wanted to present them with an alternative.”
Bellm said over the weekend he spoke with Macoupin County Clerk Pete Duncan and Sen. Andy Manar about whether or not the election would still take place as scheduled.
By his estimate, about 85 to 90 percent of election judges are retired. “Those are the last people that needed to be exposed to 200 to 250 voters passing through the turnstyles,” he said.
Garrison will likely have no challenger in the general election. “That’s what most of us believe,” Bellm said, though the possibility remains that a Republican candidate can still file for the November election.
If all finalizations go according to plan, Garrison will be taking office Dec. 1, getting sworn in with the other elected county officials in the courthouse.
“We are waiting for the slating date to see if anyone slated against me, but we are starting to move forward toward my administration as the state’s attorney,” said Garrison. “I will keep working to make sure that I will be able to implement all of the plans that I promised the people of Macoupin County, effective day one.”
County Board District 7
Three candidates were seeking two spots in District 7 of the County Board. Incumbent Bernie Kiel received 183 votes and will advance to the general election along with James Ibberson. Russell Boehl received 119 votes.
In the 95th District, incumbent Republican Avery Bourne defeated challenger Lawrence Oliver.
This race had 51 Macoupin precincts, as well as voters in Montgomery, Christian and Madison counties. Bourne received 2,204 votes (84.77 percent) to easily carry Macoupin County over Oliver (396 votes, 15.23 percent.
“I’d like to thank my supporters for putting their trust in me once again. It’s the honor of a lifetime to fight for our values in the General Assembly. I look forward to continuing that fight…Now more than ever, our values are under attack. I look forward to debating these issues and others with my Democratic opponent, and I look forward to earning the support of voters in November. The future of our state is worth this fight.”