Republican Amanda Ade-Harlow took 66 percent of the vote for resident circuit judge of the Fourth District on Tuesday in Shelby County, defeating her opponent, Democrat Gina Vonderheide, by almost 3,000 votes, according to unofficial results.

Republican Erica Firnhaber swept the race for Shelby County Treasurer, almost doubling the amount of votes for her opponent, Democrat Beth Musser.

Meanwhile, voters in the Cowden Fire Protection District narrowly rejected a referendum that would have increased taxes by $10 to $15 annually for most property owners.

Ade-Harlow received 6,073 votes and Vonderheide received 3,126 votes. Ade-Harlow, a Pana native, has lived in Shelby County with her family for the past eight years. She had been the associate judge since 2016.

Ade-Harlow's first eight years legal practice were spent doing general practice. She did family law cases, civil law cases and even medical malpractice cases, she said.

She moved on to be the assistant State's Attorney in Shelby County, and then moved over to Fayette County prosecuting all over the board from Class X felonies down to juveline cases. Ade-Harlow was a public defender in Shelby County, then appointed as the associate judge in Dec. 2016.

Shelby County has has a history of producing the most honorable, qualified and experienced judges, she said.

"(Residents) deserve someone who is of the utmost integrity, who is the most qualified, who is the most experience," Ade-Harlow said. "Someone they can believe in, someone they can trust."

In the treasurer's race, Firnhaber won over the people of Shelby County to the tune of 6,077 votes, compared to Musser's 3,148.

The small business owner managed a restaurant at 18, managed a golf course after playing in college and did title abstract work for seven years in multiple counties.

During the campaign, Firnhaber said that when managing, "You run every aspect of that. You run on a budget, you schedule your employees, you deal with the public. I have the leadership skills I think that I've learned in the private sector and done in the service industry, (so) I can take (the skills) into the public sector."

She said there has not been a Republican in the courthouse for decades. Her plan is to take a look at the budget and see what can be cut.

One of her ideas is to use volunteers, especially because she knows seniors who want to give back to the community, Firnhaber said.

She said she can cut a budget and be a leader.

The Cowden Fire Protection District results were close: 314 people voted against the proposal and 273 voted for it, a 41 vote difference. The tax money was going to help fund building repairs, according to Eric Tucker, the secretary on the trustee board.

Kennedy Nolen can be reached by phone at 217-774-2161 ext. 1 or by email at

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