I’ve written about local politics and elected boards and commissions for decades, but I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed as many twists and turns on those subjects than what happened in Decatur and Macon County during 2018. Even though we are a couple of days into 2019 some of those twists and turns have yet to be resolved.
Heading that list is/was the race for Macon County Sheriff, which, even though the election was held on the first Tuesday in November, the outcome is still in dispute. Republican Jim Root was initially thought to have won the race by 99 votes, but when all of the votes were counted (or so we thought at the time) Democrat Tony Brown was declared the winner by one vote — out of nearly 40,000 votes cast between the two candidates!
However, the race took another twist… Brown was sworn into office and is presently serving as sheriff — but two additional votes were found (both were for Root) which made Root the winner by one vote! Now, Root wants a judge to rule that he won and should be sworn in as Macon County Sheriff! Two months after the election this race is still twisting and turning — and may be getting more attention as the days of 2019 are rolling by.
I’ve written before in this column that I like Tony Brown and Jim Root and I don’t like to see this end up in court. However, the public needs to have a clear picture of the winner, by how many votes, and move on from there. I feel that can only happen with a total hand recount of every vote. As I mentioned at the beginning of the column, I’ve never witnessed any-thing like this in a race for a major Macon County office. I guess I have now!
• ANOTHER shocking part of the local election scene came in the race for Mayor of Decatur when mayoral candidate Kara Demirjian Huss, who figured to present a strong challenge to present Mayor Julie Moore Wolfe, in the April election. She was set to have her name appear first on the ballot (because she filed her petitions first), but could not be certified by the city clerk to be on the ballot because she hadn’t turned in her receipt for the Statement of Economic Interest, filed at the county clerk’s office, — to the city clerk. Most people were in shock (including me) when they heard Demirjian Huss would not have her name on the ballot, and that she had dropped out of the race!
Then, another “twist” happened when Demirjian Huss announced that she was considering a write-in candidacy for mayor. That decision has not been finalized as I’m writing this column, but if she does decide to jump back into the race as a write-in candidate, that would be another twist to observe — and another news story that happened in 2018 that could be a much observed part of 2019!
• I COULDN’T help but notice in looking over the candidate filings for school board in Decatur and some of the surrounding communities, that Argenta-Oreana and Warrensburg-Latham had more candidates file to be elected to the school boards of those two districts, than Decatur District #61 Board of Education had. The two much smaller districts had five candidates file for seats on each board, while Decatur had only four.
• I DON’T know who the guy was riding a motorcycle on Route 51 South after the last stoplight south of the bridge one evening last week, but he gunned the engine and did a wheelie in the left lane for about as far as I could see down the road — at an extremely high rate of speed! I have to admit, I was totally unimpressed by the rider’s actions. He put himself and the drivers of the other vehicles on the road in danger needlessly with riding on one wheel as the motorcycle was reared up like a horse on two hind legs! Maybe it’s my age — but that didn’t display a whole lot of intelligence to me and also didn’t reflect favorably on motorcyclists I know in the area who ride responsibly.
• I’M looking forward to the coming year and what will be happening in our community. I’m very optimistic about Decatur’s future.