Washington’s mayor on list of potential candidates for vacant State Senate seat

State Capitol in Springfield
State Capitol in Springfield(Source: Gray TV)
Published: Dec. 23, 2022 at 7:15 PM CST
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PEORIA (25 News Now) - Republican Party chairs for 13 area counties are releasing details how they will fill the Illinois State Senate seat vacated by Bloomington’s Jason Barickman, and some familiar names in Central Illinois politics are apparently interested in replacing him for a two-year term.

Barickman officially resigned Wednesday from the seat he was just elected to the new 53rd District, and Washington Mayor Gary Manier told 25 News Friday evening he’s leaning toward applying for the post.

“Right now, I’m a yes,” said Mayor Manier in a text.

Washington Mayor Gary Manier
Washington Mayor Gary Manier(25 News Now)

State Rep. Tom Bennett of Gibson City is also expected to apply. Other names being talked about for the seat are Normal Town Council member Stan Nord, and Mike Kirkton of Gridley who lost to Dennis Tipsord in a four-way primary race for state representative in the new 105th House District.

Longtime State Rep. Dan Brady of Bloomington is not eligible for the Senate seat because he doesn’t live in the district.

Also talked about as a possible candidate is Normal Town Council member Scott Preston, who lost his November general election race to Sharon Chung for state representative in the new 91st House District. However, Preston reportedly said he would not apply if Bennett sought the Senate seat.

Applications for the Senate seat are due Jan. 5.

A meeting of the 13 county chairs is scheduled Saturday, Jan. 7 at 10 a.m. at the Elks Lodge in Pontiac. Candidates will be interviewed at the meeting, which will be open to the public. Just four days later, the new General Assembly will be sworn into office at

The GOP chairs making the appointment are Chuck Weaver of Peoria County, Dennis Grundler of McLean County, Jim Rule of Tazewell County, Tim Ruestman of Woodford County, Dave Rice of Livingston County, Dave Lueders of Marshall County, Jacob Frund of Putnam County, Barry Welbers of Bureau County, Larry Smith of LaSalle County, Jeff Orr of Ford County, Eric Werden of Grundy County, Tim Ozinga of Will County and Lyle Behrends of Iroquois County.