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Tazewell County Board Chair Seeks Bill Brady's Former Seat; Butler Rules Himself Out

Tazewell County Board Chairman David Zimmerman.
Tazewell County Board Chairman David Zimmerman.

Tazewell County Board Chairman David Zimmerman said Tuesday he is seeking appointment to the state Senate from the 44th  District. Earlier in the day, state Rep. Tim Butler, R-Springfield, said he was no longer interested in the seat.

The seat is vacant after the last week's resignation of State Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington.

Zimmerman has served on the Tazewell County Board for a quarter century. He has been board chairman since 2008.

Zimmerman said he is proud of the work the board has done. 

"As a Republican in the State Senate, my voice would be fairly limited," said Zimmerman. "But I would like to be a part of the solution."

He said state government has to remain focused on its budget problems.

"When you have somebody who's wounded, you have to stop the bleeding before you can start to heal the patient, and the state of Illinois is hemorrhaging people and money," said Zimmerman, adding he wants to bring the principles of Tazewell County government to Springfield.

"Let's just do what we need to do, and do it well, and work on this budget, work on this deficit," said Zimmerman. "It's going to be many, many years undertaking to correct the situation we're in now."

Zimmerman said he's pursued a State Senate seat in the past. He hasn't run for State Senate before, but he said Brady's resignation offered the perfect opportunity to move forward. 

"This was a surprise," said Zimmerman. "I don't know that anybody saw Sen. Brady's resignation coming."

Republican county chairs from the 44th District will decide by the end of the month who will be appointed to serve the remaining two years of Brady's term.

"So hopefully, they know me well enough, and they've seen my record and can make a decision accordingly," said Zimmerman.

Brady, who had served as state senator since 2002, also was Senate minority leader since 2017. 

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