After a decade of service as an Illinois state lawmaker, it is my sincere hope that my personal story shows that anyone can achieve the American Dream. Most importantly, I hope people will realize that that humble beginnings do not preclude success, and with hard work, dedication, and integrity, they can create their own version of the American Dream here in Illinois.
I have represented the residents of northwestern Illinois in the Senate since December 2018, and in the House of Representatives from October 2013 to December 2018. My priorities have always been those of the northwestern Illinois residents I represented — agriculture, business development with job creation, education, public safety, law enforcement and veteran issues.
My goal as a lawmaker has been to make the State of Illinois a better place to live, bringing state government from the marble halls of the Capitol back home to the communities of northwestern Illinois. One of my primary focuses has been putting Illinois in a regulatory and fiscal position to create quality jobs for working families, especially in agriculture and manufacturing, help reinvigorate Illinois’ ailing economy, and increase state revenue without raising taxes.
In Springfield, I have served as Spokesperson for the Pensions Committee, and as a member of the Agriculture, Energy and Public Utilities, Financial Institutions, Health Care Access and Availability, Judiciary, and Veterans Affairs committees. I will continue to serve on the Legislative Ethics Commission, which works with the Legislative Inspector General in investigating allegations of misconduct by state lawmakers and staff.
A fifth-generation native of northwestern Illinois, I attended Freeport public schools and served our country in the United States Army as a Military Police Officer and Military Police Investigator.
Upon completion of my military service, I returned to Freeport to serve as a Stephenson County Sheriff’s Deputy, rising to the rank of Sergeant. During this time, I was assigned to a major case squad, which overlapped the nine northwestern-most counties in Illinois – an area encompassing almost the entire 45th Senate District.
I am also a businessman who started with a single desk and a handful of local customers. Stewart & Associates now provides unique business expertise and a wide range of services to companies in all 50 states, Canada and more than 80 countries around the world. Stewart & Associates employs almost 500 people throughout two dozen businesses units across America. Most of these businesses are located in Northern Illinois, centered in my hometown of Freeport.
My civic activities include serving as a Freeport Alderman and Freeport Township Trustee. I have also served as Chairman and Board Member of the Northwest Illinois Criminal Justice Commission (MTU-1), Stephenson County ETSB (911) Board, Freeport Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Northwest Illinois Development Alliance. I am the former Chairman of the United Way of Northwest Illinois, FHN Foundation Be Cancer Free Campaign and was the Charter President of the Stephenson County Employees – UAW Local 2261. I am a current member of the Freeport Rotary, AMVETS Post 32 and the Stephenson County Farm Bureau.
As I retire from the Illinois General Assembly, I want to thank the citizens of northwestern Illinois for the honor of representing them in Springfield for nearly 10 years. I represented them in Springfield with hard work and determination and treated my colleagues on both sides of the aisle with respect.
To the many friends I made, your support and encouragement have made my job as a state lawmaker one of the best. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. There are no finer people than those who live and work in northwestern Illinois.