As I mentioned in last week’s column, because of redistricting, Congressman Rodney Davis who has represented the 13th District for the past decade is running in the 15th District against Rep. Mary Miller in the Republican Primary June 28. That leaves the new 13th District, which includes part of Decatur and Macon County without an incumbent — and apparently without much interest in attracting Macon County voters from some of the candidates.
The four Republican candidates are: Regan Deering, Matt Hausman, Terry Martin and Jesse Reising. Although we are a little over two months away from the Primary Election, only Deering and Reising have been showing interest in Decatur and Macon County voters through interviews, news releases and attending various events in the area.
Frankly, I wouldn’t know Hausman or Martin if I passed them on the street. That’s equally true for two of the three Democrat candidates in the primary for District 13: Nikki Budzinski, David Palmer and Ellis Taylor. Only Budzinski has shown an interest in the local voters in our part of the 13th District.
In all of the decades that I’ve been covering local political races, and participating in two of them as a candidate for mayor, I have never seen such a lack of effort and public relations from most of the candidates and especially those who run their campaigns. If any candidate is too busy to discuss his or her stands on the issues then I assume they don’t know much about the members of the local media and the impact that newspapers like this one can have on elections.
Hopefully, those running who have not yet displayed a degree of seriousness when it comes to the voters in Macon County, will recognize the need to get better known. This county has always had a significant impact on elections.
• OVER the past decade, over 2,000 newspapers in our nation have gone out of business and most of those that remain have reduced staff significantly. Staff reductions mean, in many cases, aggressive pursuit of candidates (and what they represent) is not as widespread as it once was across our nation. That’s why candidates need to be aggressive to get their candidacies known.
• SCOTT Reeder’s column on page 3 of the print and online editions, is about the state budget. He wrote: “This month, once a budget agreement was reached behind those locked doors, lawmakers found themselves voting on a 3,400-page, $46.5 billion operating budget a few hours later.”
When I look at that 3,400-page budget photo, I wonder how much of it any of those who represent us actually read — considering it was approved only a few hours after an agreement was reached? That’s our Illinois governing body finding billions of ways ($46.5 billion ways) to spend our money — and yet they can’t even fix Route 51 in and out of Decatur! I’m reminded of that reality every day that I drive to and from my office downtown on that washboard. (There’s a stretch of 51 across from the fire station in South Shores that could give a car arthritis!) If there is a positive about the condition of our state routes in, through and out of Decatur … well, no driver should fall asleep at the wheel while driving on those washboards with all of that shaking going on!
• BIG OOPS! — We had a big “oops” on one of our ads last week. One of our faithful advertisers, Raupp’s Shoes in downtown Decatur, had an ad where we mistakenly put $15.00 for any pair of shoes. It should have read $15.00 OFF any pair of shoes. We have the corrected ad (I hope) on page 14 of this week’s print and online editions).
I showed up at Raupp’s door when it opened the following morning (before our subscribers received that week’s edition in the mail) to apologize and they were so nice about it. I buy all of my shoes at Raupp’s because they are a downtown business and I really like the people there. Remember that’s $15.00 OFF!!! •
• BEST WISHES to former Warrensburg-Latham High School Basketball Coach Vic Binkley, who was hired to coach basketball at Clinton High School the day after his forced resignation after 36 years of success as W-L coach. I guess, when you have coached so many winning seasons at a high school, news of your departure results in another school district wasting no time in hiring you to coach their team. As an outsider looking in, I still don’t understand what Binkley’s departure from W-L was all about — and probably will never understand it. Obviously, Clinton understood Binkley was available and that’s all it took to hire the legendary coach.
• I JOIN Brian Byers on WSOY’s Byers & Co. every Thursday morning at 7:00 for the City Hall Insider. I always enjoy our weekly chat.