State Senator and Education Leader Tom Bennett Announces His Retirement at the End of Current Term
(Gibson City, IL) – Illinois State Senator Tom Bennett (R-Gibson City) announced his plans to retire from his storied and successful career in the General Assembly at the completion of his current term representing the 53rd District.
“Serving in the General Assembly has been one of the most challenging, amazing and rewarding times in my life,” said Bennett. “The only way I know how to do this job is full-time, often six or seven days-a-week and my family and I have decided that after this term it is time to slow down,” Bennett said.
Senator Bennett served in the Illinois House of Representatives representing the 106th District from 2015 until 2023 when he was appointed to the State Senate on behalf of the 53rd District of Illinois, including Bureau, Ford, Grundy, Iroquois, LaSalle, Livingston, Marshall, McLean, Peoria, Putnam, Tazewell, Will, and Woodford Counties.
“Senator Bennett is as well-known for his kindness and compassion as he is for his legislative skills,” said Illinois Senate Republican Leader John Curran (R-Downers Grove). “The accomplishments and impact that he continues to make will be felt throughout the capitol and the state for many years to come. I am grateful for the chance to serve alongside him and look forward to working with him in his final session and endeavors beyond the capitol.”
Senator Bennett grew up in Gibson City before earning a BS in Education and a BS in Computer Science from Eastern Illinois University, an MBA from Illinois State University and a Doctor of Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University. He spent his career in education as a high school and junior high science teacher and later as an IT professional at State Farm Insurance.
His passion for education stemmed into his public service in Springfield where he was a leader on Education participating in many meaningful negotiations and legislative packages in the House and passed multiple bipartisan education bills, specifically ones focused on addressing the state’s teacher shortage in the Senate. Raised on a family farm, he also took an active role in agriculture, small business, public safety and transportation issues.
Despite his many legislative accomplishments, it is the people he has met along the way that brings Sen. Bennett the most joy.
“It’s amazing what my staff has done over the last nine years for countless constituents across our district and our state to make a positive difference in people’s lives,” Sen. Bennett said. “I am also grateful for my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in the General Assembly – we come from different parts of the state, with different backgrounds, sometimes holding very different viewpoints, but we have tried to respect each other and work together on issues important to the people of Illinois.”
Always finding new ways to give back to his community, Sen. Bennett served on several school and education boards including 19 years on the distinguished Parkland College Board of Trustees and became the first Illinois trustee to ever serve as Chair of the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT).
“The process of running for office, meeting people, telling them why you’re running, your goals and how you hope to achieve them – is not an easy one. I make this announcement today so the hardworking and fair-minded people I represent are in the best position to elect a new leader.”
In the meantime, Senator Bennett said he looks forward to making the most of the remainder of his term.
“Today is not the end of my work as a Senator, it is simply the beginning of the sprint to the finish,” Bennett said. “I have a lot of legislative work left to do and a lot of people yet to meet. Because, as I learned from a friend a long time ago: it’s all about the people.”
Sen. Bennett’s term will end at the completion of the 103rd General Assembly in January 2025.