Unofficial election results show that 655 voters in St. Clair County cast ballots for the Republican write-in candidate for State's Attorney.
The figure is nearly three times as many as former judge Ron Duebbert would need - 233 - to secure the GOP nomination. If those votes stand, Duebbert will face State's Attorney James Gomric in the November election.
A spokesperson at the St. Clair County Clerk's said that more vote by mail ballots could still come in. A canvass will be done in two weeks and at that time results will be made official, she said.
"I heartily thank the voters for their outpouring of support for me and my candidacy for State's Attorney," Duebbert said in a statement. "Their write-in votes are a testament to their desire for fairness, equal treatment and full transparency in their local prosecution system. But they also know this is currently not the case.
"My campaign will point the way forward to a prosecution system that will once again be fair to all people, one which removes both political favoritism as well as political targeting."
Duebbert filed papers in January to enter the race as a write in candidate, as no Republican earned a ballot spot for state’s attorney in the regular nominating period. He was the only declared Republican write-in candidate for state's attorney.
Duebbert was elected circuit judge in 2016, after defeating chief judge John Baricevic.
He was removed from that seat by the Illinois Court Commissioners on Jan. 10 of this year, finding he misled police in a murder investigation and lied to an inquiry board.
The suspect in the murder investigation David Fields was found not guilty in the shooting death of Carl Silas of Belleville.
Duebbert also faced a criminal sexual abuse charge in St. Clair County, but the case against him was dropped after accuser Carlos Rodriguez did not want to testify at trial.
Duebbert is pursuing a malicious prosecution lawsuit related to the Rodriguez charges.
A long-time supporter of Duebbert, Brad VanHoose of Belleville, said in a statement that he "couldn't be happier for him," regarding the write-in election results.
"The powers that be have done everything they could, fair and unfair, to destroy him and he continues to fight," VanHoose said. "Just because a panel of hand-picked members of the Judicial Inquiry Board were able to circumvent the will of the voters, he has not given up and continues to persevere regardless of the good old boys club in St. Clair County. We need more people like him."
Gomric, completing the term of Illinois State Police director Brendan Kelly, ran in the Democratic primary without opposition.