Illinois State Sen. Neil Anderson (R-Andalusia), who has served the Quad Cities region for the past two terms, announced today that he is running for the newly created 47th District State Senate seat.
The new seat, created by an aggressive and controversial Democrat-led redistricting effort, left Anderson drawn out of the 36th District by less than a mile. Anderson, who has long been widely assumed to be running in the newly redrawn 47th State Senate district where he lives, made it official today with a media tour of the new district.
“I’m excited for the opportunity to continue serving,” said Anderson. “I have been strongly encouraged to run for statewide or federal office by a lot of great friends. I won’t say that some of the things coming out of the executive branch hasn’t tempted me to engage there, but in the end, I can do a lot more good if I stay in the Senate and keep building on what we’ve begun there.
“Getting things done is about building trust and relationships on both sides of the aisle,” he said. “I have built a strong reputation as being reliable, being true to my word, and being willing to meet my colleagues across the aisle on issues related to labor, agriculture, transportation, middle class working families, and improving public safety. Ultimately, it’s where I can do the most good.”
Anderson traveled the district on Wednesday, making media stops in Rock Island, Knox, Warren, McDonough, and Fulton counties with a message illustrating his commitment to the values and concerns of the district. He was also joined by elected and party officials across the district who have enthusiastically supported his candidacy.
“This district is huge, and it reflects border community, rural, and urban issues,” said Anderson. “We have strong manufacturing, higher education, agribusiness, food chain infrastructure, small business, and logistics industries here. We have workforce shortages that aren’t easily resolved. We have values that aren’t always sympathetic with what we see coming out of the bigger cities, particularly Chicago, but we still have to find ways to move the state forward. I am looking forward to having the voters in the new district get to know me and I am confident they will send me back to Springfield to keep representing Western Illinois.”
Asked about the gerrymandered new district, Anderson said, “I’ll miss the 36th, but I’m happy knowing Mike Thoms is running. Mike was born for public service,” he said of Rock Island Mayor Mike Thoms. “He’s got a proven bipartisan record of getting results. He gets it done by working well with everyone, treating people with respect, and listening more than he talks. We need more leaders like Mike and less of the mindless machine politics that we’re known for and I look forward to having Mike Thoms in Springfield with me.”
Anderson faces the potential of a contested Republican primary election next year on June 28, 2022 and a contested general election on Nov. 8, 2022.
“Western Illinois needs stability to thrive,” Anderson said. “We all know that a strong workforce and safe community make this a great place to live, work, build a business, and raise a family. That’s why I am running, and I’m asking people who support that notion, no matter what their political party is, to support me in June and again in November.”
Anderson is a 15-year professional firefighter and paramedic for the City of Moline, where he holds the rank of Engineer. Originally elected in 2014, and re-elected in 2018, Sen. Anderson currently serves in the Illinois 36th District, which includes all of Rock Island and parts of Whiteside, Carroll, and Henry counties.
He was recently redistricted into the 47th District, which includes all of Hancock, Henderson, Mason, Menard, Mercer, Schuyler, Warren, and parts of Adams, Fulton, Henry, Knox, McDonough, Peoria, Rock Island, Stark, and Tazewell counties.