The 75th District’s new state representative is Kendall County Sheriff’s Office Deputy John Anthony.
The Republican Central Committee chairmen from Grundy, Kendall, Will and LaSalle counties chose Anthony from among nine candidates who interviewed for the position Monday night.
“I am humbled and honored to be chosen to replace a great representative like Pam Roth, and she is truly going to be missed,” Anthony said.
The appointment committee conducted the interviews over seven hours. The chairmen of the district’s counties’ Republican Central Committees voted unanimously for Anthony. Roth, state Sen. Sue Rezin and representatives from the Illinois House Republican Organization were also present during the interviews.
“The decision was a challenging one for the committee because of the depth of talent of all the applicants,” Grundy Committee Chairman Michael Mattingly said in a news release. “While we are all going to miss Pam Roth a great deal, we have no doubt that John Anthony will continue her efforts in Springfield and represent the constituents of the 75th District with integrity and zeal.”
Mattingly said in a phone call Tuesday he would not share the identities of the other candidates. Previously, Grundy County Board Chairman Ron Severson said he was applying for the position.
“He appears to be very energetic and enthusiastic about the position,” Mattingly said about Anthony. “He has worked diligently with the local Republican party in Kendall County and has pledged to continue these efforts throughout the 75th District.”
Anthony, 37, is married with four children and lives in Plainfield. He has served as a Kendall County sheriff’s deputy since 2008, a position he is told he can keep, although he plans to see how handling both positions goes before making a decision. He was previously an officer for the Champaign Police Department.
“Police officers actually make great politicians . . . because they are the greatest mediators in the world,” Anthony said.
It’s an officer’s job to defuse problems, Anthony said, a quality he feels will be helpful in Springfield
He and his wife, Deborah, also founded and run a nonprofit organization, the YARN Foundation, to help area children and their families with scholarships and educational programs.
Just before 10 p.m. Monday, when it appeared Anthony was going to be chosen, then-state Rep. Roth, R-Morris, had to give her official resignation. While walking to the room to get her resignation letter, she said it felt like the hall was a mile long.
“It was tough. I started crying, but it’s the right thing to do for my family, and I feel I have left it in capable hands,” Roth said.
Roth resigned to move to Texas, where her husband received a job opportunity.
Roth was a representative for the 75th District for almost three years. She was selected at the end of 2010 to fill the two-year House term opening after Rezin, R-Morris, was appointed to replace state Sen. Gary Dahl, who retired.
Roth said she knows residents of Grundy were hoping for another Grundy County representative.
“But I don’t represent Grundy County. I represent the 75th District and, to me, we needed the best candidate from the 75th District, and he is the best candidate from the 75th District,” Roth said.
Anthony said he is confident he will be able to represent all of the district’s counties. Through his political connections, the Kendall County resident is more than familiar with all of the counties.
Anthony is a precinct committeeman in Kendall County and has helped numerous campaigns, including Roth’s, Jim Oberweis’ 2008 congressional race, and, most recently, Jim McFarland’s run for the Joliet council.
He said politics has been a part of his life since he was a child growing up in Chicago. His stepfather was politically involved and his family passed out literature, walking in parades, and attending events often. When he moved to Kendall County, Anthony joined the Young Republicans and continues to be involved.
“I love politics, I am very, very passionate about it,” he said.
Anthony said he is currently doing his homework and to get ready to hit the ground running when he gets to Springfield.
He is planning to get in touch with the other candidates who applied for the position because they had great ideas and wants to work with them to execute.
“I’m excited about the opportunity and I just can’t wait,” Anthony said.
Roth said she wanted her replacement to share her views on the important issues in the state and Anthony does, including being a proponent of the second amendment.
“I feel he embodies what I embody,” she said.
The date for the official swearing in of Anthony has not yet been released. Constituent services will still be offered through Roth’s current office and staff can be contacted at 815-416‐1475 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact information for the new state representative will be released after the official swearing in.