4:35 PM UPDATE: Stacy Bennett was appointed with no objections in a short meeting Thursday for the rest of the 102nd General Assembly.

The Champaign County Democratic Chair Mike Ingram called the appointment “a nice tribute” but also emphasized Stacy’s qualifications. Stacy met her late husband when they both worked in the White House during the Clinton administration, and she has a doctorate.

“She’s always been politically motivated and minded,” Ingram said. “Bringing her experience to it for one week, I think is a great way to kind of put a bow on the unfortunate end of his term and career.”

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — Who will replace Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) for the remainder of the current term of the 102nd General Assembly will be decided Thursday.

The discussion on who to appoint will happen at 3pm Thursday at the Champaign County Democratic Party Headquarters in a public meeting and will be streamed live on the Champaign County Democrats’ Facebook page.

Champaign County Democratic Chair Mike Ingram and Vermillion County Democratic Chair Sandra Lawlyes get to decide who to appoint to fill the seat. Since more people voted in the 2022 Democratic primary in Champaign County than Vermillion County, Ingram has the final say.

Ingram told WCIA he intends to appoint Scott Bennett’s widow Stacy for the short session.

“It is the belief of both chairs that Stacy Bennett is best suited to finish out the remainder of her late husband’s term and cast the final votes of his term,” a statement from the Champaign County Democratic Party reads.

As of the most recent session calendar posted to the Illinois General Assembly’s website, the senate only plans to be in for 5 days before the new term starts Jan. 11.

After this meeting, Ingram and Lawlyes will open applications for the 2-year-term. State Representative Carol Ammons (D-Urbana) and Champaign Township Supervisor Andrew Quarnstrom have both expressed interest in the seat.

“Scott was a friend, a mentor, and a true public servant.” Quarnstrom said in a statement to WCIA. “I could think of no greater way to honor Scott than to try to emulate him in service in the Senate.”