CITY BEAT: PEOPLE, PLACES AND POLITICAL RACES
Republican Jesse Reising, a sixth-generation son of Decatur, former federal prosecutor, and founder of a successful veterans service organization has announced his campaign for Congress in Illinois’ 13th Congressional District. Check out story elsewhere on this side for more information about Reising and his candidacy.
Congressman Rodney Davis (R-IL) who presently serves in the 13th District, is running in the 15th District because of redistricting which placed his home in the 15th. At least two Democrats, Nikki Budzinski and David Palmer, are also running in the 13th, which stretches from Champaign to Decatur to Springfield to the Metro East. The state’s primary election will take place on June 28, 2022, to determine which candidates will move on to run in the general election on November 8, 2022.
Nikki Budzinski has a tremendous amount of support at this stage in the campaign including the endorsement of Illinois Senator Dick Durbin. She is also raising a lot more in campaign money than Palmer. Budzinski was campaigning in Decatur recently and stopped by my newspaper office to visit, but I was out of the building. She did leave a positive handwritten note about “getting together to catch up sometime soon”. There’s no doubt that she knows how to campaign and works hard at it. I’m sure we will be talking soon.
• LINCOLN LOG COURTHOUSE — I received an email from Nathan Pierce, Executive Director of the Macon County History Museum stating: “We are going to have to put a protective shelter over the Lincoln courthouse to preserve it, otherwise it will be in terrible shape in the next few years. After consulting with a building expert in Galesburg this was our only practical option. It will still be able to be toured, and there will only be a roof and walls on the back/north side and east. I just found out they will probably start construction in early February so I wanted to let the public know there isn’t much time to see it in its current situation. The structure is large enough that most of the courthouse will be viewable from the outside, and you will still be able to walk all the way around it.”
The Lincoln log cabin courthouse is a major attraction at the Macon County History Museum’s Prairie Village. I’m pleased that steps are being taken to make sure it is preserved for generations to come.
• FOLLOW-UP — During its meeting last week, the Macon County Board of Health reversed a decision made during a December meeting to change the daily COVID-19 data reports to weekly. It was felt at the time the earlier decision was made that the public was tired of hearing and reading the daily reports and ignoring them. It was good to see a board further consider a decision that so many in the community, including this editor, thought was a bad one, and reverse its vote — especially in light of surging COVID-19 cases in our community. The daily COVID-19 reports are once again giving us important info.
• BEST WISHES to the Decatur Herald & Review newspaper that has moved into the second and third floors of the building at 225 South Main Street (near the intersection of Wood and Main). Newspaper publishing has changed a lot over the decades and publications that survive make the necessary changes and adapt to the evolving industry. When I started publishing the Decatur Tribune in 1969, the Herald and Review newspapers were located on the southwest corner of North Main and North streets.
Many years ago, the two newspapers (morning and evening) were combined into one publication. They moved to East William Street in 1976 and now to South Main Street and I can see their building a block away from my office windows. Finally, I can keep an eye on them! (Big smile.)
Continued success for the H&R. They’ve always treated me fairly, both as a newspaper publisher and during the years I served as Decatur’s mayor. In fact, the H&R endorsed my candidacy as mayor, which I really appreciated — especially, after I heard from a reliable source that some pressure was put on them not to endorse me!
• I JOIN Brian Byers on WSOY’s Byers & Co. every Thursday morning at 7:00. I always enjoy our conversation on a variety of subjects.