PEORIA — Democrats widened their margin of control on the Peoria County Board on Tuesday night.
After several elections with a 10-8 majority, the party's pickup of a seat in Central Peoria extends their majority to 11-7.
Incumbent Democrat and board Chairman Andrew Rand handily defeated independent challenger Lawrence Splitter by a vote of 1,667 to 573, or about 75 percent to 25 percent.
In the frequently contested 6th District that covers part of Central Peoria, incumbent Democrat Allen Mayer defeated Republican challenger Brett Beachler by a vote of 2,154 to 1,093, or 66 percent to 34 percent. The latter didn't mount an active campaign and only sent out a campaign mailer last weekend.
In District 9, which includes parts of the city's North Valley, East Bluff and central neighborhoods as well as Peoria Heights, appointed incumbent Democrat Kate Pastucha prevailed over GOP challenger Dave LaHood by 1,724 votes to 1,569 votes, or 52.3 percent to 47.6 percent — the narrowest margin in a contested board race.
In the neighboring 10th District, an open seat after incumbent Republican Stephen Morris retired, Democrat Rob Reneau triumphed over Republican Matt Shane by 2,278 to 1,893 votes, roughly 55 percent to 45 percent. That represents the sole pickup for Democrats on the night.
And in the 18th District covering the southeast and south-central portion of the county, incumbent Republican Paul Rosenbohm comfortably defeated Democratic challenger Jeff Braun 2,265 to 1,506 votes, or about 60 percent to 40 percent.
Voters will also see two other new faces. Republican Rachel Reliford was unopposed to replace longtime board member Bob Baietto to represent Northwest Peoria, and Republican Matt Windish defeated Brad Harding in the March primary and ran unopposed Tuesday to represent the southwest part of the county.