DECATUR — 2020 was a year for tumultuous elections, and elections that never seem to end.
At the top of the race was defeat of Republican President Donald J. Trump, who fell to Democratic challenger, and now President-elect, Joe Biden.
Trump however, has broken with political precedent and declared the election was rife with fraud while still refusing to concede it.
It was a year that arguably left an already divided nation even more bitterly at odds with itself. That sense of us and them played out locally, too, with Decatur seeing a series of rallies making strong public statements of support for Trump while others passionately denounced him.
Other, much older, election battles also reared their head again in 2020, this time playing out in the courts. And while the legal system has so far shot down the president’s attempts to overturn his election defeat, the court case over who should be Macon County sheriff will now be decided by a judge.
Incumbent Democrat Tony Brown had been declared the winner by just one vote over Democratic challenger Lt. Jim Root back in 2018. Root filed legal action to contest the result which a court-ordered recount failed to resolve in July.
Dozens of contested ballots could decide the race and they are being argued before Champaign County Circuit Court Judge Anna M. Benjamin. The case had its first hearing Dec. 10, with another on Dec. 18 and two more hearing days scheduled for Dec. 29 and Jan. 20.
So it will now be 2021 before we know the final result of the 2018 sheriff’s race… and even then there might be an appeal.
Among the major 2020 contests that were decided beyond a shadow of a doubt were the victories of U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, state Rep. Sue Scherer, D-Decatur, and the job of Macon County state’s attorney, which saw Republican Scott Rueter win the role of top prosecutor for the second time in his legal career.
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Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid