Winnebago County Board

Democrat Dan Fellars will be the Winnebago County Board member for District 19.  Preliminary election results had had incumbent Republican John Guevara in the lead.  However, the county recently certified the race's mail-in ballots.  They put Fellars ahead by 47 votes.  

The Rockford Register-Star reports Guevara isn’t ruling out a recount.  If the results stand, the board will have 12 Republicans and 8 Democrats.  

Republican Frank Haney won the race for Winnebago County Chairman over Democrat John Nelson.  With all precincts reporting, Haney beat Nelson by nearly seven thousand votes.  

Nelson led from the start and for much of the evening.  He amassed a big numerical margin in Rockford but Haney built a lead in the rest of the county as the night wore on to first narrow the gap and then surpass Nelson. 

Incumbent Chairman Scott Christiansen did not seek re-election. 

city of Rockford

  Winnebago Board County Chairman Scott Christiansen abandoned plans for a vocational school in downtown Rockford. 

He says the program, known as Winnebago County Works!, would duplicate programs already carried out by Rock Valley College and Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois.  Community leaders raised concerns about overstepping the county’s role as well as proposed startup costs.  The Chairman withdrew a request of $600,000 in county operating support.   

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

A Winnebago County consultant who wrote a letter offering tax breaks to MercyRockford Health System for the board chairman also was hired by MercyRockford to lobby the Rockford City Council to annex land for the hospital campus.

The Rockford Register Star reports some aldermen view that as a conflict of interest, but consultant Jennifer Hall told the newspaper it wasn’t.

scottforchairman.com

The chairman of the Winnebago County Board will not run for re-election. Republican Scott Christiansen is dropping out of the March 15 primary. 

In Winnebago County, the chairman of the county board is elected by voters, not chosen by the board itself.

Christiansen has held the position since 2004 and, up until Sunday, it appeared he would run again. That’s when he told Rockford Register Star political editor Chuck Sweeny he was ending his re-election bid for health and family reasons.

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