DECATUR, Ill. (NEXSTAR) — Howard Buffett announced on Saturday that he is suspending his campaign for Macon County Sheriff.
Citing new eligibility requirements and recent uncertainty over the 2018 election outcome, the multi-millionaire philanthropist bowed out of the upcoming contest in a written news release.
“Illinois’s new police reform legislation, HB 3653, changes the eligibility requirements for
running for Sheriff and, as currently written, it is open to interpretation whether I meet
those eligibility requirements,” Buffett said.
The state’s new police reform law requires all law enforcement officers to undergo in-service training requirements every 3 years to learn about “constitutional and proper use of law enforcement authority, procedural justice, civil rights, human rights, mental health awareness and response, officer wellness, reporting child abuse and neglect, and cultural competency.”
Buffett was appointed as sheriff in 2017 to fill a vacancy, and did not have a traditional upbringing through the ranks in law enforcement.
The new law also requires sheriffs to complete the Minimum Standards Basic Law Enforcement Officers Training Course “as prescribed by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board or a substantially similar training program of another state or the federal government.”
“The Macon County Sheriff’s Office has also endured two and a half years of uncertainty due to disputes over the outcome of the 2018 sheriff election,” Buffett’s statement continued. “When I consider these two factors, I have concluded that it is not in the best interest of the community or the sheriff’s office to enter into a 2022 campaign that could bring additional uncertainty and potential for dispute to the election process.”
“Therefore, absent clear confirmation that my extensive experience and training in law
enforcement, including the time I served as Sheriff, are sufficient to meet the requirements of HB 3653, I am suspending my campaign for Macon County Sheriff.”
Last month, Macon County Circuit Court Associate Judge Anna Benjamin declared Jim Root the winner of the Macon County Sheriff’s race from 2018, overturning the preliminary results where Sheriff Tony Brown had declared victory by one vote.