© 2023 WGLT
A public service of Illinois State University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Morton doctor plans run for Illinois House seat in Rep. Sommer’s former territory

 Dr. Bill Hauter announced a run for the House of Representatives in the 87th District
Dr. Bill Hauter announced a run for the House of Representatives in the 87th District

A doctor from Morton says he’s running for an open Illinois House seat that includes much of the district now represented by retiring state Rep. Keith Sommer.

Emergency physician and anesthesiologist Dr. Bill Hauter plans to run in the redrawn 87th House District. Hauter, a Republican, is a member of the Tazewell County Board. The 87th District includes portions of Tazewell, McLean, Logan, Sangamon, Macon, and DeWitt counties.

Hauter works primarily as an anesthesiologist in Peoria. He picks up shifts as an emergency physician as needed; over the past few years, he says, he has been needed to treat COVID-19 patients on a regular basis. Because of this, Hauter said, he can bring a new perspective to the General Assembly as they make decisions about the pandemic.

While he supports vaccination, Hauter is against vaccine mandates.

“I think that people need to be vaccinated and they need to know the benefits of vaccination. But that's where it should stop. People have to be able to make their own decision on this,” Hauter said Thursday.

In his campaign announcement, Hauter also said he wants to make Illinois friendlier to businesses, lower taxes, and address public-sector employee pensions. He also said he wants to help support growth in the healthcare and electric-vehicle manufacturing industries.

Hauter considers himself to be running for Sommer’s seat, even though Sommer technically represented the 88th House District. After once-a-decade redistricting, the 87th District stretches much farther south but does include some of the same communities as Sommer’s current territory, such as Morton (Hauter’s hometown) and Mackinaw.

Sommer announced last December that he will not be seeking re-election.

Sommer and Hauter are longtime friends, says Hauter. Sommer previously endorsed Hauter in his run for Tazewell County Board, and the pair have worked together on adoption reform legislation in the past. Hauter has an adopted child from Bulgaria, and his wife Shelley is the director of the Living Alternatives Pregnancy Resource Center.

In an election that could come down to name recognition of candidates, Bill Hauter said he hopes that he can gain voters’ trust.

“People have put their trust in me with their life. I would like the people based on the district to put their trust in me to represent their ideas in Springfield,” said Hauter.

It’s possible other candidates will emerge in the 87th District. Candidates can begin filing to get on the 2022 ballot on March 7.

If there’s a primary election, it would be June 28. The general election is in November.

Copyright 2022 WCBU

Maggie Strahan is a Public Affairs Reporting program intern for WGLT and WCBU.
Related Content