Evans losing Illinois House seat in early primary election returns

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. • Illinois state Rep. Paul Evans, R-O’Fallon, was trailing his two primary election challengers in Madison, Clinton and Washington counties as votes were being tallied Tuesday night. But vote-rich St. Clair County was still mostly uncounted.

The returns showed Evans was trailing former Judge Don Weber of Collinsville in Madison County, with about 75 percent of the votes counted. Evans was trailing Washington County Board member Charlie Meier in Washington and Clinton counties, with most votes counted in both.

St. Clair County has by far the heaviest cache of votes in the district, and most of those returns weren’t in yet.

Evans said he was “confident” that his home county would come through in the end. he declined to comment further on the early returns.

Evans was appointed last year to replace former state Rep. Ron Stephens, R-Highland, who was part of a string of veteran Metro East-area lawmakers who have recently left their seats.

The newly drawn 108th legislative district takes in the eastern parts of Madison and St. Clair counties, and parts of Clinton and Washington. No Democrat ran in the primary there.

Although Evans, an attorney, is the incumbent, he ran as an outsider against two challengers who have held political office before. Weber, once state’s attorney in Madison County, ran as the “true conservative” in the race. Meier, a farmer, said his business experience separates him from his competition.

In the 57th state Senate district, incumbent Sen. James Clayborne, D-Belleville, easily beat his in-party challenger, Wyatt Frazer of East St. Louis. In November, Clayborne will face Republican challenger Dave Barnes of Belleville, who ran unopposed for the GOP nomination.

In the 50th state Senate district, which sits on the northern edge of Metro East, the outcome was unclear in early returns. the hotly contested race was between incumbent state Sen. Sam McCann of Carlinville and Springfield prosecutor Gray Noll. No Democrat ran in that primary.

All 177 of Illinois’ state House and Senate districts were on the ballot in Tuesday’s primaries, under this year’s redistricting process. Democratic control of both chambers was not expected to change.

Kevin McDermott of the Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.

Evans losing Illinois House seat in early primary election returns

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