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Incumbent Win Stoller cites bipartisan success in bid for a second term

Win Stoller
Win Stoller
Sen. Win Stoller was first elected to the General Assembly in the 2020 general election.

Republican state Sen. Win Stoller is running for re-election in the redrawn 37th Senate District, and he says his bipartisan record makes him the right choice in the primary.

The new 37th District extends from northeast Peoria up to Morrison, Dixon, and Rochelle. Stoller lives in Germantown Hills with a district office in Peoria. He holds degrees in accounting and business from the University of Illinois and is currently the CEO of Widmer Interiors. Stoller says he is proud to be a lifelong resident of the state.

Stoller has served one term in the Senate, succeeding former Sen. Chuck Weaver. During this first term, Stoller sponsored four bills signed into law, including a bill to provide tax cuts to small businesses statewide. All four bills were co-sponsored by Democrats.

One of those four bills was a tax cut bill, which had bipartisan sponsors and support and was signed into law in August 2021. Stoller says the key to working with the supermajority is the ability to reach across the aisle to find a compromise.

“It takes a lot of work to be able to get 14 Democrat co-sponsors on a bill, being a Republican in the super minority. That doesn't happen just easily,” Stoller said.

However, Stoller says there are some issues he will not compromise on, such as the Republican push to reduce state spending. Republicans, including Stoller, opposed the $46 billion state budget for FY23 signed into law earlier this month.

“I feel that we have a chronic tendency to overspend in our state, and I'm going to be fighting against that every chance I get,” said Stoller.

Stoller voted against the budget, but supported the Democrats’ $1.8 billion tax relief plan.

Now, with only two months until the primary to determine one of Peoria's state Senate seats, both Stoller and his opponent say they are distancing themselves from the moniker of "career politician."

Stoller will face businessman Brett Nicklaus on the ballot in June. Nicklaus has not served in elected office, which he says gives him a unique perspective compared to an incumbent. Stoller says his one term in the Senate gives him experience, but shouldn't weigh him down in the race.

“I don't have the baggage that maybe you would say a career politician may have,” said Stoller.

Republicans in the district will decide between Stoller or Nicklaus beginning May 19, when early voting begins. The winner of the June 28 primary will run unopposed for the Senate seat.

Maggie Strahan is a graduate student in the Public Affairs Reporting program at the University of Illinois.