CITY BEAT: VOTERS HAVE FEW DECISIONS TO MAKE IN PRIMARY ELECTION
Decatur and Macon County voters will have few decisions to make on primary ballots this time around — because there aren’t that many contested races. There’s a shortage of candidates, even though two of the major county offices — state’s attorney and circuit clerk — will have new officeholders after November’s General Election as State’s Attorney Jay Scott and Circuit Clerk Lois Durbin are retiring from those offices.
Voters who will choose, or have chosen, the Republican ballot will find they have two candidates for circuit clerk — Sherry Doty and Jennifer Yborra. For those candidates Tuesday’s primary winner will actually win the office, because there is no Democrat candidate to face in November.
It’s a little different for the Republican candidates for state’s attorney — Philip J. Tibbs and Scott A. Rueter. Tuesday’s winner will face Democrat Tammara “Tammy” Wagoner in the November General Election. Wagoner is unopposed in her primary race.
Elsewhere on the Republican ballot voters will find incumbent Michael E. Day unopposed for Macon County Coroner and no candidates listed for Macon County Auditor and Macon County Recorder.
The Macon County Board has two contested races. One is in District Five where Hubert Murray, Jeffrey L. Entler and Debra Kraft are running where two of the three will be elected to move on. The race in District Seven has been much more public with Board Chairman Kevin R. Greenfield being challenged by Edward D. Yoder.
Republican State Rep. Dan Caulkins of Decatur has already won re-election to his second term in the 101st District because he has no opposition in the primary and no opposition in the General Election in November. Remember two years ago, when Rep. Bill Mitchell retired from that office, that the race had several candidates with Caulkins emerging as the winner? Congressman Rodney Davis has no Republican opponent in the 13th Congressional District so he will move on to face a Democrat challenger in the General Election.
• THE Democrat Primary Election ballot shows even less choices, if you discount the presidential race where most of the candidates have already dropped out. Betsy Dirksen Londrigan and Stefanie Smith are the two candidates vying to win and go on to face Rodney Davis in the 13th Congressional District General Election voting. Democrat Incumbent Rep. Sue Scherer of Decatur has no opponent in the 96th District and no Republican opponent in the General Election so she, like Republican Dan Caulkins of Decatur, has already won re-election.
Although the Democrats have no candidate for circuit clerk or coroner, they do have incumbent Mary A (Tangney) Eaton unopposed for County Recorder and incumbent Carol A. Reed unopposed for another term as County Auditor. The Republicans have no candidate against them on their ballot.
The lack of challengers in several of the offices on our ballot, should not reflect on the quality of those seeking re-election. Although the lack of choices could be seen as people being disinterested in running for and serving in those offices, it could also be seen as the incumbents are doing a good job and there is no reason to replace them.
• OF COURSE, we do have the “Propositions” with most relating to the sale of cannabis and cannabis-infused products for Decatur Township and some of the other communities in Macon County. None of those propositions will be on my ballot or many others who live in our city, but not in Decatur Township. For Decatur Township it is a non-binding referendum as the Decatur City Council has already voted no to allowing a cannabis dispensary in the city limits by a 5-1 vote. There are, at the present time, at least 4 of the council members, including the mayor, who are not likely to bring the question up again and vote in favor of it, regardless of the outcome of the Decatur Township vote.
There is also a proposition from Maroa Forsyth Community Unit School District #2 to issue $38,000,000 in school building bonds, and another from the Village of Warrensburg to increase the maximum allowed tax rate for police protection.
Overall, for many (hopefully) who do vote in this primary, it won’t take long, — regardless of party affiliation.
I discuss the issues with Brian Byers on the “City Hall Insider” hour on WSOY’s Byers & Co., each Thursday morning starting at 7:00. I always enjoy talking about Decatur issues with Brian — and we’ve been doing “City Hall Insider’ for the past 17 years.