Toi Hutchinson Selected as Illinois State Senator


State Sen. Toi Hutchinson addresses the Park Forest Village Board Monday. (Photo: ENEWSPF)

Kankakee, IL–(ENEWSPF)– Former Olympia Fields Clerk Toi Hutchinson was chosen as State Senator to fill the current unexpired term of former Senate Majority Leader Debbie Halvorson in the 40th Senate District of Illinois.

Senator Hutchinson said she is looking forward to serving when she goes to Springfield on Monday, “I’m honored and humbled and ready to get to work. This is a very good district. It was a very good field of candidates and I felt good about who we all were, and I’m just honored that they thought to choose me.”

The vote occurred at a noon meeting of Democratic Committeemen and Party Chairs this afternoon in Kankakee today. Park Forest resident Doug Price, who has several connections to the local Democratic Party, says Hutchinson told him the meeting was for Democratic Committeemen from Bloom, Thornton, and Rich Townships, as well as the Democratic Party Chairs from Will, Kankakee and Iroquois Counties. Hutchinson was sworn in by Appellate Judge Mary Kay O’Brien immediately following the vote.

Price said the three candidates who had already announced their intention to seek this office were nominated by Committeemen Terry Matthews of Bloom Township, Will County Democratic Chair Tim Gaffney, and Kankakee Democratic Chair Don St. Germaine. These were recently reelected Will County Commissioner John Anderson, Toi Hutchinson, and John Pavich. Pavich was a recent candidate for the United States Congress who ran against former U.S. Representative Jerry Weller.

The votes were weighted based on the results of the 2008 election. Price said there were two votes taken. During the first vote, Hutchinson received votes from Thornton, Rich and Bloom Townships, as well as votes from Iroquois and Kankakee Counties. John Anderson received the votes from Will County. After the first round of votes, Will County Democratic Chairman Tim Gaffney asked if he could change his weighted votes, so the official vote was unanimous.

State Rep. Al Riley praised Hutchinson’s appointment, “You couldn’t find a better choice. Toi was eminently qualified for the job, which is extremely important because the person will have to hit the ground running. There really isn’t a good time to go down there [Springfield] and learn anything, especially not now with some of the things that both chambers are going to have to deal with, with regard to the possible impeachment and trial of the governor, the budget situation, Barack becoming president and what that means in terms of policy for the state. So, you really need someone with experience, and Toi has that. She doesn’t have to get to know the senate because, as Chief of Staff for the former Senate Majority Leader Debbie Halvorson, she knew all them. She worked with them. She created policy with them. She understands the senate, she understands the other side of the third floor, and she understands the house.”

Hutchinson had served previously as a legislative aide and chief of staff for former Senate Majority Leader Halvorson.  She also ran an unsuccessful bid for Bloom Township Supervisor.