Freeport alderman looks to land Stewart's 89th District seat

FREEPORT – A city alderman is running for the state’s 89th District seat following the incumbent’s recent decision to pursue another office.

Andrew Chesney, who was elected to the Freeport City Council in 2015, aims to replace state Rep. Brian Stewart next year.

Stewart, a 59-year-old Freeport Republican, was appointed to the position in 2013 and announced his candidacy last week for outgoing Dixon GOP state Sen. Tim Bivins’ 45th District seat.

As an at-large alderman, Chesney, 35, said he has focused on prioritizing city funding for public infrastructure, blight reduction and law enforcement in Freeport as well as streamlining city services, improving policies to foster economic development, and reducing taxes and fees.

Voters signed off on transitioning from a mayoral form of government to a city-manager form last year.

“We’ve made great strides over the past 2 years in changing how Freeport’s government operates,” Chesney said in a news release. “It’s that same commitment to change, progress and working together to solve problems that I want to take with me to Springfield.”

Chesney is a division sales manager with Freeport vending machine manufacturer Seaga Manufacturing and is chairman of the Stephenson County Republican Central Committee.

He was born in Freeport, raised in Shannon and graduated from Eastland High School in Lanark in 2000. Chesney received his bachelor’s degree in communication from Arizona State University in 2004. He married his wife, Kelly, in 2013.

“My family, my home, my church, my business, all my priorities are focused here in Northwest Illinois,” he said. “I want to make sure that the opportunities that I have been afforded in this part of Illinois are available for generations to come.”

Chesney will compete against Democrat Ann Williams, a 51-year-old professional photographer from Galena, who announced her run in June.

The 89th Illinois House District is made up of parts of Carroll, Jo Daviess, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside and Winnebago Counties.

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