By RICK HAYES email@example.com
---- — MT. VERNON — A former Southern Illinois sheriff and a supervisor at the Pinckneyville correctional center will square off in November in the race for 115th district representative.
Democrat William Kilquist, who has a longtime career in law enforcement, won his party’s nomination in Tuesday’s primary.
According to final results, Kilquist had 4,048 votes compared to 2,791 for opponent Tony Mayville of DuBois, the Illinois Director of Mine Safety.
Terri Bryant of Murphysboro won the Republican party’s nomination, defeating Jefferson County Board Chairman Robert White. Bryant won the nomination by garnering 5,982 votes to White’s 3,178 votes.
Kilquist received two degrees at SIU while working for the university police. After graduating, he began with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department in 1971. Later that year, he took a job at the Carbondale city department.
While working in Carbondale, Kilquist ran for Jackson County Sheriff and won in November of 1982. He served six terms as sheriff and retired from the sheriff’s department in 2003.
He then served as the warden at the Illinois Youth Center in Murphysboro and Harrisburg.
In 2005, he was elected to the John A. Logan Board of Trustees.
“We had a lot of endorsements but the main endorsement we wanted and won was the one from the people,” Kilquist said Wednesday. “We look forward to the race coming up. We will represent all social and economic groups, both parties, and even independents.”
Kilquist said Jefferson County was a challenge because “our name recognition was lacking.” He said he hopes to improve on that before November.
“Every county in this district is just as important as the other. We plan on going after all of them because we plan to represent all of them,” he said.
Kilquist added he will not seek a legislator’s pension because he already has a pension from more than 40 years in law enforcement.
Mayville said he kept his word to keep his campaign clean, adding, “I can’t say that about the other side.” Mayville said the one thing he’s learned in 40 years of politics is “the people that say the most nastiest things always win. People tend to believe what they are told.”
He added, “Michael Madigan comes in and trashes someone’s reputation with white lies and $215,000 from Springfield and Chicago against me is hard to overcome.”
Bryant has been employed by the Illinois Department of Corrections since 1994. She is a supervisor of the dietary department at Pinckneyville.
She also has experience in the private sector, first through farming with her husband Rick and then the couple helped operate the Bluebell Restaurant in Murphysboro.
She has been a precinct committeewoman since 2006. She is also vice president of the Jackson County Republican Women’s Club, and a delegate to Illinois Republican conventions in 2008 and 2012.
“I’m proud of the race we ran and we kept it clean and on message,” Bryant said. “That’s what we’re going to do going forward. The message is: lower taxes, more personal freedom and less government intervention and jobs, jobs, jobs.”
Bryant added Jefferson County was a significant part of the race. noting, “I really, truly love Mt. Vernon and Jefferson County.” Bryant carried Jefferson County by a 63-37 percent margin.
In defeat, White released the following statement on Wednesday:
“I appreciate the individuals who supported me with their vote, time and effort in this endeavor. I wish Terri Bryant the very best in her race to November.”