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Election volunteer driver Brandon Saunders holds the door for a voter as he gives her a ride to and from the polling place at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church on Tuesday afternoon in Charleston.

Ken Trevarthan, Journal Gazette/Times-Courier

CHARLESTON -- Jimmy Rankin was a convincing winner in the race for Coles County Sheriff on Tuesday, outdistancing opponent Greg Voudrie by more than 2,000 votes.

Rankin, the county Republican candidate, received 57 percent of Tuesday's vote with a total of 8,450 with the unofficial total. Voudrie, the Democratic candidate, received 6,312.

Rankin is a rural Charleston resident and currently a deputy with the sheriff's office and received much of his support from his hometown area.

Individual precinct totals weren't available Tuesday but Rankin took a large, early lead as Charleston-area precincts reported. The margin narrowed somewhat toward the end of the night when Mattoon precincts reported, adding votes for Voudrie, a Mattoon resident and retired Mattoon police administrator.

"Obviously, Republican support in Coles County goes a long way," Voudrie said after the final results were in. He added that he wished Rankin "the best of luck" in the office.

Ranking couldn't be reached for comment late Tuesday.

Rankin will take office Dec. 1. He will replace current Sheriff Darrell Cox, a two-term Republican who didn't seek re-election to the office.

The sheriff's election was the only contested race in Coles County on Tuesday, though two other county officials and seven Coles County Board members were unopposed and elected.

County Clerk Sue Rennels received 13,096 votes and county Treasurer George Edwards received 12,693; both are Republicans.

The county board members elected included Republican Marc Weber in board District 3, who received 371 votes Tuesday. Weber is a former member who will return to the board after incumbent Democrat Dick Goodrick didn't seek re-election.

Current members, all Republicans, made up the other county board candidates on Tuesday's ballot. They were Cory Sanders, District 4, 1,510 votes; Paul Daily, District 6, 1,248 votes; Nancy Purdy, District 7, 939 votes; Jan Eads, District 9, 845 votes; Stan Metzger, District 10, 903 votes; and Brandon Bell, District 11, 685 votes.

Contact Fopay at dfopay@jg-tc.com or 217-238-6858.

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