Hunt, Floyd win primary races

Piatt County voters overwhelmingly voted to give incumbent Sheriff David Hunt the Republican nod in the March 20 primary. The unofficial results point to a 3,047 to 672 win for Hunt over challenger Kyle Turngren, who serves as one of Hunt’s correctional officers at the county jail.

With no Democrats on the ballot, Hunt will likely serve a third consecutive term as sheriff.

The incumbent felt voters chose his record over a campaign waged by Turngren that focused on Cook County inmates who were at one time housed at the Piatt County jail.

“I don’t think the citizens of Piatt County liked the negative campaign, and I think when that started a couple of weeks ago it was a demarcation for people to take sides,” said Hunt.

For Turngren, he has no regrets over running for office, but is not sure if he will try again in the future.

He also has no hard feelings on the loss and a need to continue to work with Hunt.

“I have no personal issue with Dave Hunt. I’m focused on moving forward,” said Turngren. “I’m all business, it’s not personal at all. The sheriffs office is the sheriff’s office. If you look whether its Sheriff Hunt, or Chief Deputy (Mark) Mackey, nobody at the sheriff’s office has failed to respond to a call, or disobeyed an order. So its all business at the sheriff’s office.”

Hunt said his goal is to continue forward with progress made during his first two terms.

“We’re just going to continue to try and make the sheriff’s office a respected sheriff’s office. We are respected from other law enforcement agencies. Keep up our professionalism, always trying to make changes for the good and improvements. If you stay on the course you’ll always do good,” said the Sheriff.


Incumbent clerk ousted

In the other contested countywide office seat, newcomer Seth Floyd narrowly defeated incumbent Laurie Birch on the Republican ballot for Circuit Clerk. The final tally was 1,816 to 1,702, or 51.6 to 48.4 percent.

Birch was appointed to the post last April. It was Floyd’s first try at political office, and with no Democrat on the primary ballot he will likely become the new circuit clerk in December.

“I want to improve accessibility and to evolve and implement more technology,” said Floyd. “There’s a lot of things we can be putting online – forms, some self help guidelines, things that especially for our online communities that aren’t here in Monticello. Then it doesn’t take them half a day to come up and have to deal with their business during the business hours of the court.”

“With the technology aspect, it’s changing every week, every day, all the time so everything we can do to get new software, new training, techniques and continue to build on the great staff we already have in the office, is paramount,” he added.


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