WASHINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — Washington Mayor Gary Manier announced Wednesday that he will seek to become an Illinois state senator as a Republican in the next election.

According to Manier, he will be running for the 53rd district seat which is currently held by Tom Bennett, a Morris Republican.

Mainer has served as Washington’s mayor since 2001. He was in office when a major tornado damaged more than 1,100 homes in 2013 and helped lead the city’s recovery efforts.

He is also vice president of the Illinois Municipal League.

The 53rd district covers part of Bureau, Ford, Grundy, Iroquois, LaSalle, Livingston, Marshall, McLean, Peoria, Putnam, Tazewell, Will, and Woodford Counties