Brian Stewart Will Replace Retiring State Rep. Jim Sacia
Rep. Jim Sacia introduces Brian Stewart to a huge crowd of well-wishers at the press conference held at the Freeport Public Library Wednesday, Sept. 18.
Freeport’s Brian Stewart, new State Rep in the 89th District.
(PA photos/Tom Kocal)
Freeport, IL – Freeport Businessman and former Stephenson County Sheriff’s Deputy Brian Stewart (R-Freeport) has been selected to become the next Illinois State Representative for the newly drawn 89th Legislative District. The appointment, announced today at a press conference at the Freeport Public Library, comes in the wake of the midterm retirement of Rep. Jim Sacia of Pecatonica.
“I’m ecstatic about the opportunity to represent Northwest Illinois in the General Assembly, and am positive that I can continue the excellent work of our current representative,” said Stewart. “The issues facing Illinois are great, but I believe that the experience I have in business, law enforcement, and local government will serve me well.”
Stewart, a fifth generation native of Northwest Illinois, is an Army veteran and attended Freeport High School. Upon completion of his service, Stewart returned to Freeport to serve as a Stephenson County Sheriff’s Deputy. During his tenure he served in several capacities rising to Sergeant which included service on a major case squad serving the nine northwestern counties in Illinois, an area encompassing the entire 89th District.
With a desire for business, Stewart retired early from law enforcement. Today he successfully employs almost 300 people and manages over 20 businesses, the majority of which are centered in his hometown of Freeport. Stewart cites his decision to leave law enforcement nearly 25 years ago as a pivotal moment where he knew the risks but his drive to create a business outweighed his concerns.
“As a young boy, I was actually raised in public housing. We didn’t have much, and I think that fact had a profound affect on me, creating a desire to build a business and provide for my family,” stated Stewart. “The Army was a godsend to a kid like me. It helped me escape, learn and grow, giving rise to my law enforcement career; however, I always had a deep seeded drive to do more.”
Stewart went on to explain that as State Representative, his primary focus will be putting Illinois in a regulatory and financial position to create good paying agricultural, manufacturing, and middle class jobs that can rejuvenate Illinois’ ailing economy.
“Good paying jobs should be our top priority,” said Stewart. “Without good paying middle class jobs to increase the tax base of local government, our school districts, counties, and local units of government will continue to suffer. We don’t need higher taxes - we need more people employed paying those taxes.”
Stewart zeroed in on the pension crisis as the top issue driving the state’s budget woes, and is committed towards working in a bipartisan manner to resolve the issue.
In addition to his professional career, Stewart has served as a Freeport Alderman, Freeport Township Trustee, and served as Chair of the Public Safety Committee and Vice Chair of Community Development. He has also served as Chairman and Board Member of the Northwest Illinois Criminal Justice Commission, Freeport Area Chamber of Commerce, Stephenson County Emergency Telephone System (911) and the Northwest Illinois Development Alliance.
He is a former Campaign Chairman and Board Member of the United Way of Northwest Illinois, Co-Chaired the FHN Foundation – Be Cancer Free Campaign for the Leonard Ferguson Cancer Center, and was the Charter President of the Stephenson County Employees – UAW Local 2261. Stewart is a current member of the Freeport Noon Rotary, AMVETS Post 32, and the Stephenson County Farm Bureau.
His active duty military service began in 1975 where he served as a military policeman and investigator and was honorably discharged in 1978. As a lifelong Republican, Stewart is a past Chairman of the Stephenson County Republican Central Committee.
The 89th District encompasses all of Stephenson and Jo Daviess Counties and portions of Carroll, Ogle, Whiteside, and Winnebago. Jim Sacia has represented the area since 2003 and is retiring due to both a commitment to only serve six terms and a potential bid for statewide office.