With political campaigns heading toward the Nov. 8th General Election Day, and early voting already underway, it is time to take a closer look at some of the races impacting Decatur and Macon County. This week, the 96th Illinois House District, which includes part of Macon County, is the focus of attention, Incumbent Rep. Sue Scherer (D-Decatur) and Lisa Smith (R-Blue Mound) respond to three basic questions about their candidacies on page 6 of the online and print editions of this week’s Decatur Tribune.
• LOTS of candidates. As an example of the fallout from redistricting, Macon County now has 5 Illinois House seats up for election, 3 Illinois Senate seats and 2 Congressional seats with each representing a chunk of our county — and that’s without mentioning other offices that impact our county which involve the governor’s race and other state and county offices. As happened in the June Primary Election, more than a few voters are going to show up at the polls and see some names on their ballot of candidates they didn’t know they would be voting for — or against! On Election Day, or before, some voters will also be looking for the familiar names of candidates they think are still going to be representing them, and will find they are no longer in that voter’s district. If ever there was a time that know-ledge about who is running for what in your district is important, that time is now.
• WORK ON Route 51 South from Cleveland Avenue just north of Lake Decatur to Boody, is finally underway. It has been a long time coming but I will happily, and patiently, endure the slower flow of traffic during the resurfacing process for a new road surface. Driving on that stretch has actually become more dangerous as all of the speeders now try to merge into one lane. Maybe I can borrow a caution flag from Macon Speedway to direct traffic. Drive carefully. We don’t want to lose any subscribers or any other citizens of Central Illinois.
• LEAVES — Every morning as I look out my office windows on the fourth floor, which face west from Water Street, I see a noticeable change in the color of the leaves on some of the trees. Driving south on Main Street the leaves on the trees just south of the court house parking lot have totally changed color as well as most of the trees in the parking lot of the Ameren building (former Montgomery Ward store). I love the change of seasons that we have in Central Illinois. Fall is my favorite season, except when I think of the winter weather that will soon follow. Hopefully, this fall the leaves will change color and stay on the trees a little longer than usual so that we can enjoy their beauty.
• LIFE-LONG friend and retired banker Larry Harshbarger, who now lives in Florida, sent me an interesting note with his subscription renewal. Larry wrote: “Darlene and I visited Decatur recently and I needed a pair of shoes. Thanks to reading the Decatur Tribune, I went to Raupp Shoes. I purchased the first pair offered and wore them out of the store. “P.S. The salesman was reading the Tribune when we entered the store.” There’s a great personal testimony for both Raupp’s and this newspaper! Only a few days after receiving that message from Larry,
Hurricane Ian hit in Florida, including the Fort Myers area where Larry and Darlene live, as do several other Tribune subscribers, after moving there from Decatur. They are okay, but, the damage and destruction of so many homes and businesses and, more importantly, the injuries and loss of life, are difficult to comprehend. It’s shocking to see the aftermath of Ian on television news programs. I can only imagine how difficult it was, and is, to experience it first hand. Our prayers and thoughts and best wishes are for all in that area and for everyone impacted not only in Florida but up in the Carolinas and beyond.
• I JOIN Brian Byers on WSOY’s Byers & Co. every Thursday morning at 7:00 AM.