Representative to replace Senator in local General Assembly seat

Rep. Tom Bennett will replace Sen. Jason Barickman in the 53rd District, per a vote Saturday.
Rep. Tom Bennett will replace Sen. Jason Barickman in the 53rd District, per a vote Saturday.(WEEK)
Published: Jan. 7, 2023 at 8:18 PM CST
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PEORIA (25 News Now) - Local Republican leaders have chosen who will replace outgoing state senator Jason Barickman next week.

Barickman chose to resign after winning re-election in the new 53rd District. Current 106th State Representative Tom Bennett will now take his place, receiving 87% of the vote from party chairmen. Normal Town Council member Stan Nord received the remainder of the vote.

Also applying for the post were Washington Mayor Gary Manier, 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).

Candidates were interviewed Saturday morning at a meeting of the 13 county chairs at the Elks Lodge in Pontiac. 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.

Bennett will be sworn in Wednesday. The appointment creates a new vacancy in the state House of Representatives. Republican leaders from that district will also be able to appoint his replacement within 30 days of his resignation.