City Beat: People, Places And Political Races
• I WAS so pleased that Decatur’s own, Justice Lisa Holder White was appointed to the Illinois Supreme Court last week. (Story on page 6 of print edition and elsewhere on this site)
Without reservation, beyond being extremely qualified and talented in her profession, she is one of the nicest people I’ve met over the years.
Justice Holder White has been a history-maker in our community and beyond and now, she is making more history as the first black woman on the Illinois Supreme Court. Everyone I know is so pleased with her appointment and realizes that she is very qualified for the position and certainly is a true success story.
All the best to Justice Holder White. The person she is makes us all proud to know her and what she continues to accomplish benefits all of us.
• SORRY to hear of the passing of former area Congressman Tim Johnson last week. Johnson was in office during the years I served as mayor so we saw each other often and talked about issues at area events. Brian Byers and I talked about some of the experiences we had with the Congressman during last Thursday’s Byers & Co. program on WSOY. Tim Johnson was definitely a different kind of Congressman, with a unique personality, and certainly left his mark on Central Illinois through his service and the fact that he never lost an election.
• JESSE Reising, a candidate in the Republican Primary Election for the 13th Congressional District was at the Tribune last week to discuss his campaign. Reising told me that his campaign was moving along at the pace he anticipated and he is picking up endorsements along the way.
Former President Donald Trump’s endorsement is a key factor in Rep. Mary Miller’s race against Rep. Rodney Davis in the 15th District, and I asked Reising if Trump would be a factor in the 13th District race.
“I would welcome his endorsement,” Reising told me. When I asked if he knew that he was going to get Trump’s endorsement, he indicated that he didn’t want to comment on that question. One could interpret that to mean that Reising already knows he has Trump’s endorsement, but I can’t state that for sure — but, it was apparent, that Reising would certainly welcome it.
Reising said that “inflation” is a top issue on the minds of people as he campaigns, along with the high crime rate. He also indicated that many of the people he talks with are concerned with their children’s education and how parents should have more input into the schools’ programs. Reising said he wants to see more opportunities for young people to advance their education.
Reising has been endorsed by the Sangamon County Republicans which is significant because there are more Republican primary voters in Sangamon County than in any other county in the district. He was also recently named on the NRCC’s “On the Radar” candidate list, plus he has an endorsement from former Congressman John Shimkus and achieved strong first quarter fundraising numbers.
His most visible opponent in the 13th District Republican Primary race is Regan Deering, also from Decatur. I met with Deering a few weeks ago and will have more on this race between now and Election Day, June 28.
• EARLY voting starts tomorrow (May 19). There is a schedule of Early Voting hours on page 7 of this week’s print edition. It will be interesting to see how the early voting turnout will be between now and election day.
• SORRY to hear of the passing of longtime local attorney Garry Davis. (Obituary is on page 20 of today’s print and online editions.) Garry and I served on an important foundation board together when I was mayor and we became better acquainted after the Tribune offices were moved to the Millikin Court Building a dozen years ago where he was also located. My condolences to his wife, Linda, and their family and friends. We’ve lost a lot of good people that cared about this community during the past few years.
• IT’S GREAT to see the Central Park Fountain gushing water again which signals the “official” beginning of warm (hot) weather. It was turned on a later than usual because of the lingering cold weather and some prom goers were not able to get their photos shot in front of it, The fountain, with its waterfalls and sprays, makes an excellent background for special occasions (or not so special occasions) for area residents.
• I JOIN Brian Byers on WSOY’s Byers & Co. every Thursday morning at 7:00, which I’ve done at 3 different studios over the years — Pershing Road, Water & William and now, 2 floors above the Tribune in the Millikin Court Building. (No crosstown traffic.)