Unofficial Ogle County election results: Cox wins coroner race, schools sales tax referendum fails

Ogle County sees 28.5-percent voter turnout, 9,207 ballots cast


OGLE COUNTY — Results from Tuesday’s general primary election in Ogle County showed that Christie Cox of Polo (3,812 votes, 50.68 percent) defeated Chad Horner of Rochelle (3,709 votes, 49.32 percent) in the race for the Ogle County coroner’s office. As of Thursday afternoon, 100 percent of Ogle County precincts had reported, but results will be unofficial for two weeks following the race, which is election protocol.

Both ran as republicans and there was no democrat candidate for coroner. Lou Finch has served as Ogle County coroner for 20 years and did not seek re-election. Cox brings experience as a deputy coroner and funeral director. She owns Polo Family Funeral Home and has run it for 20 years. She started working in the coroner’s office in the early 2000s and returned to it over a year ago. 

Cox said she feels confident in the eventual official outcome of the close race after seeing the numbers. She called the experience of working on her campaign through the election “surreal.”

“I worked very hard and I've never run a campaign before, so it was all new to me,” Cox said. “It was not without a lot of late nights, early mornings, hard work and dedication. I'm very excited to have it over and start this next chapter and journey. The only thing I'd like to say at this point is I can't wait to get my team together and get their thoughts and concerns and address them if there are any. It's just rallying the team and hearing from them.”

The Polo Family Funeral Home owner called the experience of a campaign “time-consuming, but very rewarding” and thanked her loved ones, the community and voters.

“I'm just a young lady from Polo, and to have people who don't even know me support me in ways I could've never imagined was so humbling and overwhelming at times,” Cox said. “I just want to say thank you to the voters. It doesn't matter who you voted for. It's just the fact that you got out and voted. Thank you for all of your support.”

Horner fell short on election night in the closely-contested race. He brought credentials of serving as an Ogle County deputy coroner for five years, and he is co-owner of Unger Horner Funeral Home in Rochelle. 

Sales tax

A county schools facilities sales tax referendum item failed in the election by a margin of 69.53 percent (6,228 votes). A total of 2,729 (30.46 percent) votes were cast in favor of the sales tax. 

The measure would have raised sales tax in the county by one percent to benefit schools for expenses including facilities, security, mental health services and school resource officers. The measure also failed on the ballot in Ogle County back in 2013. There are 57 counties in Illinois that have the county schools facilities sales tax.

The additional sales tax would have applied to items that are already taxed, with the exception of vehicles and unprepared food. For example, based on the most recent numbers, a county schools facility sales tax would have netted the Rochelle Elementary School district $813,202 per year and $443,491 per year for the Rochelle Township High School district. 

Along with facilities, security, mental health services and school resource officers, the money could have been used to abate property taxes and make rates lower for property owners within the district. The county schools facilities sales tax measure had no sunset clause or end date for counties after being passed in by referendum. School districts in the county did not take a position for or against the sales tax.

County board

In Ogle County’s one contested primary race for an Ogle County Board seat, incumbent Dan Janes (576 votes, 51.34 percent) defeated Ron Kern (546 votes, 48.66 percent) in a close race in the fifth district. There is no democrat candidate for the fifth district. 

State senate

In the republican primary for state senator in the 37th legislative district, Li Arellano of Dixon won the district-wide race with 9,001 votes over Tim Yager (5,933) and Chris Bishop (2,864). There was no democrat candidate in the race. Sen. Win Stoller (R, Germantown Hills) currently holds the office and is not seeking re-election.

In Ogle County, Arellano received 1,328 votes (52.22 percent), while Yager received 776 votes (30.52 percent) and Bishop received 439 votes (17.26 percent). 


Voter turnout was low in the primary election Tuesday. A total of 28.5 percent of the county came out to vote in the election. 9,207 ballots were cast out of 32,328 potential voters in the county. There were 7,407 ballots cast at polling places (80.4 percent), 869 early ballots cast (9.4 percent) and 931 vote-by-mail ballots cast (10.1 percent).