McLean County Auditor Michelle Anderson survived a rare primary challenge of an incumbent countywide officeholder, defeating Trisha Malott. She’s now headed for a three-way race in November.
Anderson led Malott with 55% of the vote with nearly all votes counted late Tuesday, according to results from the McLean County clerk and Bloomington Election Commission.
“I’m very happy the voters chose experience,” Anderson told WGLT.
Malott is the current supervisor of the county’s Behavioral Health Coordinating Council. She said she called Anderson on Tuesday to congratulate her on the victory.
“I’m fortunate I have a position that I love with the county and I get to continue to serve our taxpayers and make a difference in the way that I already do,” Malott said.
During the campaign, Malott said she wanted to build relationships between the auditor’s office and other county officeholders and department heads.
“She has held the office for quite a long time, her name was first on the ballot and she certainly has a much easier name than I,” Malott said. “I think all of those things add up to what contributed to this.”
Anderson was appointed auditor in 2009 and won re-election to full terms in 2012 and 2016. As she sought re-election, Anderson touted herself as an independent “watchdog” for the county who increased transparency and created an award-winning financial reporting process.
Anderson faced criticism last year during a dispute with County Treasurer Rebecca McNeil over the county’s accounting practices. Several other Republican countywide officeholders supported Malott, including Sheriff Jon Sandage, State’s Attorney Don Knapp, and Clerk Kathy Michael.
Anderson receded from the campaign trail as the election neared. She was ill and missed a Republican Party breakfast in February. She stopped responding to WGLT to arrange a joint interview with Malott.
Anderson is now expected to face Democrat Rob Fazzini, a former Bloomington City Council member, and Libertarian Kevin Woodard in the general election.
People like you value experienced, knowledgeable and award-winning journalism that covers meaningful stories in Bloomington-Normal. To support more stories and interviews like this one, please consider making a contribution.