SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WMBD)– The 53rd Legislative District County GOP Chairs have appointed Representative Tom Bennett for the District’s open seat.

According to a Tazewell GOP press release, The 53rd Legislative District Committee met on Jan 7 to interview candidates for the replacement of Senator Jason Barickman who resigned from the Illinois Senate. Of the five candidates who applied to fulfill this term, the committee voted to appoint Bennett for the 103rd General Assembly in Illinois.

“The 53rd Senate District was blessed with a great field of candidates”, said Committee Chair Dave Rice of Livingston Co. “After considering the needs of the 53rd District, the state of Illinois and the Republican Party, the committee felt that Tom Bennett was the best choice to meet these needs. Based on the candidates interviewed for the senate seat, the committee feels the Central Illinois Republican future is bright.”

In accordance with 10 ILCS 5/25-6(a), vacancies created in the General Assembly must be filled within 30 days. Convening the 53rd Legislative District Committee to appoint a replacement to fill the open seat were the thirteen GOP County Chairs whose counties are served by the newly drawn 53rd Legislative District for the 103rd General Assembly. Candidates who applied were Tom Bennet of Gibson City, Mike Kirkton of Gridley, Stan Nord of Normal, Gary Manier of Washington, and Mike Levin of Normal. Bennett will be sworn in as the new senator for the 53rd on January 11th when the 103rd General Assembly is inaugurated and seated.