|Illinois State Senator Toi Hutchinson|
Democrats name new senator in the 40thToi Hutchinson, 35, of Olympia Fields will fill the senate seat formerly held by Illinois Senate Majority Leader Debbie Halvorson, Crete.
Hutchinson was chosen to fill the unexpired term by Democratic chairmen from Will, Kankakee, and Iroquois counties as well as committeemen from Bloom, Thornton and Rich townships in Cook County.
Just hours after Halvorson resigned from the Illinois Senate, her former chief of staff was named to replace her.
Halvorson resigned her senate seat at 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 5. Hutchinson was chosen two hours later at a meeting at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Kankakee. She was sworn into office immediately following the vote by Appellate Court Judge Mary Kay O'Brien.
This appointment bounces the representation of the 40th Senate District, which includes Beecher, Monee, and Peotone in Will County, back to Olympia Fields in Cook County.
Halvorson's predecessor, the late Aldo DeAngelis was also from Olympia Fields. DeAngelis was a Republican; Hutchinson a Democrat. But, like DeAngelis, Hutchinson is said to favor building a new airport at Peotone.
Two other candidates were in contention. They were John Anderson, Monee, a Will County board member and John Pavich, Beecher, who ran unsuccessfully against ex-congressman Jerry Weller, the post Halvorson now holds.
Hutchinson is no stranger to politics. She waged an unsuccessfully run for Bloom Township Supervisor in 2005. Immediately following that election, she was appointed by Halvorson to serve as her chief of staff. She held that job for one year before going to work as a state lobbyist for the firm, Vincent R. Williams & Associates, of Chicago.
Hutchinson is the former village clerk at Olympia Fields, where she served one 4-year term. She is presently a second-year law student at Northern Illinois University at DeKalb. She and her husband Paul have three children.
She is the first black senator in the 40th district and the second woman.