Jensen, Dose dominate precinct totals in La Salle County chairman races

Canvasses show there was little geographic divide in the races

Election 2024

Don Jensen is the incumbent chairman of the La Salle County Board and was widely expected to build and hold a big lead over his primary challenger Tuesday.

He did, and he won all but six precincts.

The Deer Park Republican now heads to the general election against Democrat Brian Dose, of Ottawa, whose precinct total was almost as dominant.

Dose won 104 of the county’s 119 precincts.

The La Salle County canvass was released Wednesday, and the precinct-by-precinct unofficial totals were as decisive as the overall percentages. Election results are not official until they are certified by the county clerk.

Jensen’s primary challenger, Deborah Porter of Streator, won five precincts in Adams, Bruce and Otter Creek townships and tied Jensen in a stray precinct in Peru.

“I’m just thankful the voters nominated me for a second chance,” Jensen said Wednesday after being advised of the precinct total.

Dose’s challenger, Joseph Oscepinski, is a County Board member from Peru, and he won 12 precincts in La Salle-Peru and tied with Dose in La Salle precinct 8. Outside the county’s west end, the race was not close: Dose only lost two precincts outside L-P.

Dose, a firefighter and graduate of La Salle-Peru High School, said he hadn’t probed the precinct totals, but he noted that Oscepinski made the decision to go negative.

“We stayed with a positive message throughout the campaign,” Dose said, “and I think people were hungry for new ideas and for a change.

“If we want to win in November, we have to be united.”

Oscepinski responded, noting, “Calling out a member’s bad attendance record isn’t negative, it’s educating the public and being transparent.”

Other findings from the canvass:

  • Liz Bishop, a Republican nominee for 76th Illinois House District (Lance Yednock’s seat) won all 61 precincts in play in La Salle County. (Not all 119 precincts are in the House district.)
  • Donald Trump won 86% of the Republican vote even though none of the challengers appearing on the ballot are actively campaigning. Among the former challengers, Nikki Haley won 9.25% of the remainder and notched double-digit votes in 16 precincts, including 21 votes in Utica precinct 1.
  • Joe Biden won almost 92% of the vote. Among his Democratic challengers, Marianne Williamson finished with just less than 4% of the Democratic ballots. None of the challengers recorded double-digit votes in any precinct.