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Jones Exits Senate GOP Primary Against McCarter


January 5th, 2012

Springfield- State Sen. John Jones, R- Mount Vernon, pulled the plug on is primary eledction bid Wednesday.  Jones, a 16-year veteran of the General Assembly, withdrew from his March 20  matchup against state Sen. Kyle McCarter, saying he wasn’t sure he could survive  a challenge of his nominating petitions by his opponent.

Jones, 71, was locked in a primary battle against the Lebanon businessman in  the newly drawn 54th Senate district, which includes all or parts of Washington,  Clinton, Madison, St. Clair, Bond, Fayette, Marion and Effingham counties.

McCarter challenged Jones’ nominating petitions and found enough potential  problems that Jones exited the race rather than embark on a legal fight. To run  in the Senate primary, a candidate must have at least 1,000 valid signatures  from registered voters within the district. Jones said if each of McCarter’s  challenges had been successful, he would have been dozens of signatures short of staying on the ballot.

“I wasn’t afraid of any kind of primary,” McCarter said. “I’m simply asking  that the law be followed. What is being asked is not a huge, unattainable  goal.”

It wasn’t clear Wednesday whether the move means an end to Jones career in  Springfield, which began in 1995 when he was elected to the House. He moved into  his Senate seat in 2003.

“I’m going to leave my options open,” Jones said.

Jones had a wide fundraising advantage, with more than $286,000 in the bank  compared to McCarter’s $39,000.

The winner of the Republican contest will face off against Centralia Democrat  Danny Stover, who has previously run for U.S. Congress.

McCarter was appointed to his 51st Senate District post in 2009 to fill a  vacancy left by former Senate Minority Leader Frank Watson’s retirement.  McCarter won a full term in the seat in 2010.


Read more: http://thesouthern.com/news/local/jones-exits-senate-gop-primary-against-mccarter/article_016b143c-375b-11e1-bdce-0019bb2963f4.html#ixzz1joAaFKxh

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