The appointment of an interim sheriff

Sheriff Mahon has made the decision to leave office 1.5 years prior to the end of his term, reportedly for personal reasons – not really providing a legitimate excuse, other than this is his preference.

For example, Effingham County Coroner Duane Guffey died in office. The Republican Central Committee appointed Kim Rhodes (a retired Illinois State Police Lieutenant who is very well respected, no doubt was super qualified and appears to have done a fine job.)

Herein resides the conflict. The sheriff is pushing for Paul Kuhns to replace him as the interim sheriff to complete his term. I have worked under Paul Kuhns’ leadership for numerous years. I do not believe he is the best person to fill the interim sheriff’s position. I do not believe Kuhns is sheriff material due to his management approach.

In my opinion, the Republican Central Committee, chaired by Rob Arnold, should appoint an interim sheriff to finish Mahon’s term, who has no intention of running in the next election (this could be agreed upon in contractual writing.) I doubt there has ever been a sheriff in Effingham County history who did not get a second term due to the incumbent advantage. It’s kind of one of those “no news is good news” type of things.

However, via historical and I assume, current sheriff’s office policy, employees are not permitted to speak derogatorily about the sheriff nor the department, thereby silencing the voices of those who know best with respect to how good or poor leadership and management are.

The problem with appointing an interim sheriff who intends to run again in the spring of 2022 to finish Mahon’s term is that the Republican Central Committee is providing the incumbent advantage to a person who intends to run again – arguably discounting or mitigating the vote of the people via incumbent advantage.

The sheriff’s election is arguably the most important in the county, and by far has the largest budget (approximately $4 million of an approximate $9 million dollar budget.) There are plenty of options in reference to an interim sheriff to finish Mahon’s term. Paul Kuhns is not the best option.

Robert “Ted” Heath, Altamont

Mary Miller voting against Cheney’s GOP leadership role

Back in January, the House of Representatives voted on the Impeachment of former President Donald Trump. Among those who voted in favor of impeaching the former President was Republican Conference Chair, Representative Liz Cheney. Shortly after the impeachment vote, members of the Republican conference voted to keep Rep. Cheney as Republican Conference Chair.

Because she voted to impeach President Trump and holds a leadership position for our conference, I did not vote with the Republican Conference in January to allow Liz Cheney to keep her role as the chair.

I believe that Rep. Cheney does not represent the Republican conference and should not be a part of our leadership team. Unfortunately, Rep. Cheney is seriously out of step with Republicans and is no longer capable of effectively leading the party. Over 70 million Americans voted for former President Trump in our election in November, and 94 percent of the Republican House members voted against the impeachment of President Trump. The leadership of the Republican conference should represent our voters, who overwhelmingly support former President Trump.

For these reasons, I will vote against Rep. Cheney to remain in our leadership should another vote take place.

U.S. Rep. Marry Miller, R-Oakland

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