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Grass-Roots Activism Shifts Normal Township

Sarah Grammer smiles
Mike Miletich
Democrat Sarah Grammer on Tuesday after being elected the new Normal Township supervisor.

A wave of political involvement sparked by the election of Donald Trump in November has resulted in big changes in Normal Township.

After decades of Republican strength, Democrats took the township supervisor's job and three out of four trustee positions in Tuesday's election.Sarah Grammer defeated Cheryl Gaines with 3,113 votes to 2,990, or 51 percent to 48.9 percent.

Supervisor-elect Grammer said she's pleased for all the voters.

"When I got into this race a lot of people told me I could not win as a Democrat. And so proving that wrong tonight is an exciting step forward, and I don't mean that just for my own party," said Grammer.

Gaines said she's not a fan of a partisan race at the township level.

"That makes it harder because often it becomes more about the party as opposed to about the person," said Gaines.

Gaines teared up during an interview with GLT's Colleen Reynolds as her decades-long run as a public office holder ended.

"I am just really rich with people who love me and care for me and I'm really thankful. No regrets," said Gaines.

Grammer said she thinks the change at the grass-roots level will help the community.

"I mean that for all of us as voters. Competition is really important for us as voters and I want to see that going forward," said Grammer.
The trustee winners are Democrats Sally Pyne, Arlene Hosea, and Samantha Quigle, and Republican Ray Ropp.
The GOP retained the Normal Township clerk spot with Amy Conklin's win over Jodie Slothower.

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WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.
Mike joined GLT's staff as a student reporter in February of 2016 having worked previously as a reporter at Illinois State University's student radio station, 103.3 WZND. He acted as a director for the WZND newsroom for two years. Mike was also seen as a reporter, producer, and anchor at TV-10 News. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism in May of 2017 before starting his post-graduate career with the Public Affairs Reporting Masters Program at University of Illinois Springfield.
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