DECATUR, Ill. (WICS/WRSP) — Almost three years later, a recount for the 2018 Macon County Sheriff's race shows there’s a new winner in town.
According to Champaign County Circuit Court Judge Anna Benjamin, the man currently serving as sheriff didn’t actually win the 2018 election.
Tony Brown battled Jim Root for office, and Brown originally won by one vote.
Benjamin’s ruling last week shows that Root actually won the seat by 16 votes.
RELATED: Judge declares Jim Root winner of Macon County sheriff's race
Brown has been running the Macon County Sheriff's Office since December 2018.
He now has 30 days to appeal the judge's ruling. If he doesn’t appeal, then Root will become the new sheriff for Macon County.
“[Root] is the winner and my hat is off to him for his persistence throughout this entire process,“ Root's attorney, John G. Fogarty said.
According to Benjamin, the final tally was 19,579 for Root and 19,563 for Brown.
“I think the judge made a very thorough ruling, 36 pages' worth and it’s very fact-intensive and fact-specific,” Fogarty said.
We reached out to Sheriff Brown’s attorney, Christopher Sherer, who responded with this statement:
“It’s my policy to not comment on pending or anticipated litigation. I will let you know though that Sheriff Brown is planning a press conference for Friday.“
Newschannel 20 and FOX Illinois reached out to Brown directly, but we have not received a response from him or his office at this time.
Fogarty said Root is prepared to step into the Macon County Sheriff's role immediately.
The next election for the Macon County Sheriff's Office will take place in November 2022.
Former Interim Sheriff Howard Buffett has already announced his candidacy.