-By Warner Todd Huston
Dan Rutherford was the State Senator from the 53rd District, but with his recent election to our state treasurer’s office, that left his seat empty. Since a Republican held that seat the local Republican Party was given the task of choosing someone to replace Rutherford and fill out his term.
After much wrangling and many hats in the ring, the Party chose Shane Cultra of Onarga to be the man sent to Springfield.
It was a crowded field of nine Republicans vying to take Dan Rutherford’s empty seat. In the running were Gary Manier, David Zimmerman, and John Ackerman of Tazewell County; Matt Sorenson of McLean County; Jason Barickman, and John Bambenek of Champaign County; Scott McCoy and Mike Stoeklin of Livingston County; and finally Cultra of Iroquois County. Keith Sommer of Morton dropped out of contention recently due to his wife’s illness.
Cultra is strongly supported by the United Republican Fund and rated at “90” by that organization.