News Report Staff

The Effingham County Treasurer’s race was a true nail biter Tuesday night.

As the precinct votes were counted in the Effingham County Clerk’s office, Republican candidates Paula Miller and Sheila Braun were within a few votes of each other. Then Braun pulled ahead by 50 votes with totals from 30 precincts

Then Miller gained the lead by adding 115 votes in Union precinct to only 31 for Braun as the final precincts were being counted. That proved decisive, as Miller eventually won the Republican nomination with 2,322 votes compared 2,176 for Braun.

“It was very close,” Miller said during a telephone interview soon after learning of the final tallies. “Yes, it was a hard night, too.”

The only county primary race Tuesday had Miller citing her long experience with the Treasurer’s office, while Braun said her knowledge in business and organization would bring new ideas and practices to the office. Miller worked to gain the confidence of the voters in her ability to manage the office where she had worked for 28 years.

“I worked hard to get the confidence of the voters in me. I want to thank the voters for their confidence in me and electing me as the Republican candidate for County Treasurer. I do believe my experience was the thing that decided the race.”

Miller also praised Braun, who had experience in business and education, for her respectful campaign.\

“We said from the start that we’d run a clean race and we did,” she said.

Miller will have her name placed on the general election ballot. At this point, she is unopposed with no Democratic candidate having run in the Primary. That is true for other county offices, with County Clerk, County Sheriff and Supervisor up for election in November. Republican incumbents nominated for the fall election were Sheriff Dave Mahon, County Clerk Kerry Hirtzel and Supervisor of Assessments Pam Braun.

For County Board, Republicans Jim Niemann, District B, and David Campbell, District D, were unopposed, while on the Democratic side, Karen Luchtefeld, District C, and Doug McCain, District G, were nominated without opposition. All four are incumbents.

The drafting process could add more candidates to the fall ballot. In addition, there will be a special election for Coroner due to the recent death of Duane Guffey. Kim Rhodes has been appointed to fill that position to December. She has expressed interest in running in the election to fill the remaining two years of the late Coroner’s term.