Stage is set for GOP leaders to pick Sen. Barickman’s replacement

Illinois Senate in Springfield
Illinois Senate in Springfield(Blue Room Stream)
Published: Jan. 7, 2023 at 2:53 AM CST
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(25 News Now) - Five Republican candidates including an incumbent state representative, a local mayor and an elected official from Normal are being interviewed Saturday to fill the Illinois State Senate seat vacated by the resignation of State Sen. Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington).

Barickman resigned from the seat he was just elected to in the new 53rd Senate District, which covers parts of 13 counties including Peoria, Tazewell, McLean, Woodford, Livingston, LaSalle, Marshall and Putnam.

The 13 Republican Party chairs are holding a public meeting starting at 10 a.m. at the Elks Lodge in Pontiac reviewing applications and talking to the five candidates.

The candidates include 106th District State Rep. Tom Bennett, from Gibson City, Washington Mayor Gary Manier, Normal Town Council member Stan Nord.

The other candidates appearing before the party chairs are Mike Kirkton of Gridley, who made an unsuccessful bid for state representative in the new 105th District, and Mike Levin of Normal. Levin most recently worked as senior director for government affairs for the Illinois Soybean Association and is a former chief of state for ex-Illinois State Sen. Bill Brady (R-Bloomington).

The winner will be sworn-in on Wednesday for the start of the 103rd General Assembly and will serve a two-year term.