RANTOUL, Ill. (WCIA) — On the eve of the primary election, the two men hoping to be the next Champaign County Sheriff are exchanging words about their yard signs.
Chief Deputy Allen Jones is running against former police officer and security guard Greg Worrell. Both are vying for the Republican nomination. There are no Democratic candidates currently on the ballot.
Worrell says his signs are disappearing, and he doesn’t think it’s by accident. Through a Facebook post and a Letter to the Editor, Worrell implied that he blamed either Jones’s campaign or his supporters for whatever’s happening to his signs.
Jones responded, saying Worrell is either lying or misinformed. And Worrell told us he didn’t actually mean to accuse his opponent.
“I put signs out three times,” says Worrell, “Three different locations. And each time, a day or two after that, the signs are completely gone.”
Worrell says those signs have disappeared after days that weren’t particularly windy, and they’re nowhere to be found nearby.
He posted on Facebook, writing “You surely do not want anyone in a top post who condones stealing oponnents [sic] signs. The fact of the matter is that someone is feeling threatened by my success right now.”
Worrell also wrote a Letter to the Editor, accusing his opponent’s “cronies” of having something to do it.
When we asked him about his accusations, he said he doesn’t actually have any proof of who could be responsible.
“I don’t want to accuse my opponent, and I put in there about cronies, and maybe I was misjudged about that,” he says, “And I want to clear– Allen Jones, I’m sure he would never have a part of that.”
“You know what, it’s a distraction,” says Jones, “It’s not necessary.”
Jones says Worrell owes him and his supporters an apology.
“I don’t have cronies,” says Jones, “I do have friends that have supported me and asked for my signs. And have had him place his signs on their property, and they have removed them.”
Jones believes Worrell has been putting his signs in places where they’re not allowed, or hasn’t been getting permission.
“He’s an inexperienced politician,” says Jones, “A misinformed person, someone who hasn’t made available to themselves the opportunity of learning what the rules are and the etiquette of the campaign, and to go mudslinging like that’s just very disingenuous.”
Worrell insists he does ask permission for every place he puts them.
“Whoever’s taking signs, please don’t do that,” says Worrell, “If they want me to have my signs removed, just call me, I’ll take them out. I have no problem with that.”
Other than that, both men say their campaigns are going great. Jones says his experience, leadership, and track record of solutions in his current role at the sheriff’s office make him the right choice. Worrell says it’s time for a change, and that his communication skills and ideas give him the edge.