Josh Harms

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Josh Harms
Member of the Illinois House of Representatives
from the 106th district
In office
January 2013 (2013-January) – January 2015 (2015-January)
Preceded by Keith P. Sommer (redistricted)
Succeeded by Thomas M. Bennett
Personal details
Born (1974-03-31) March 31, 1974 (age 40)
Watseka, Illinois
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Rebecca Harms
Children Two
Residence Watseka, Illinois
Alma mater Governors State University
Illinois State University
Profession Teacher

Josh Harms is a member of the Illinois House of Representatives as a representative for the 106th district. This district includes all of Iroquois County and Ford County as well as parts of Vermillion, Livingston and Woodford counties in Central Illinois.[1]

Early life and teaching career[edit]

Josh grew up on his family's farm near Watseka, Illinois. After graduating from Watseka Community High School, he attended Illinois State University where he received a Bachelor of Arts in music education.[2] While working as a teacher at the Iroquois Special Education Association, he earned a master of arts from Governors State University.[2]

Illinois General Assembly[edit]

Campaign[edit]

In June 2011, Harms announced his intention to run for the state representative in the new 106th district.[3] During the primary election he was endorsed by Illinois State Representative Roger Eddy and retired Illinois State Representative William Black[4] On election day, Harms won 33% of ballots cast[5] in a five way primary that included the Chairman of the Parkland College Board of Trustees, Tom Bennett[6] and former Mayor of Pontiac Scott McCoy[3] to secure the nomination. Harms was unopposed in the general election as no Democratic candidate filed to run in the historically Republican area.[7] After winning the election unopposed, Harms resigned from his teaching position to become a full-time legislator.[2]

Tenure[edit]

Committee Assignments, 98th General Assembly[2]
  • Agriculture & Conservation
  • Appropriations-Higher Education
  • Business Occupational Licenses
  • Cities & Villages
  • Public Safety: Police & Fire Committee
  • Economic Development
  • Veterans' Affairs.

When Representative Harms was sworn into office in January 2013, he joined a bipartisan group of 21 other lawmakers who chose not to take a legislative pension.[8]

During the spring session of the 98th General Assembly, four of the ten bills he sponsored were signed into law by Governor Pat Quinn.[9]

His first bill, sponsored with his associated Senator Jason Barickman, amended the Illinois Finance Authority Act to require the next two appointees to the Illinois Finance Authority have agribusiness experience and that the Authority must have at least two members with such experience.[10]

The second, which was signed into law four days after the first, mandates that if a mobile home park owner knows from law enforcement that a mobile home has been used for the manufacture of methamphetamine then the information must be disclosed to the potential home buyer.[9] The third involving the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, to give parents with joint-custody the right of first refusal in the case where one parent needs to leave a child with a substitute child care provider for a significant period to lessen kids being used against the first parent.[9] The final bill allowed for veterans to have the requirement for an associate's degree to enter law enforcement waived if they served for 24 months of honorable active duty to better enable veterans to enter the job market.[11]

In late June, Harms decided to retire and remove himself from the ballot for the 2014 general election citing a desire to return to teaching and spend more time with his family.[12] He has announced that he will serve out the remainder of his term.[13] A committee of party officials from Iroquois, Ford, Vermillion, Livingston and Woodford counties will select his replacement on the ballot by a weighted vote based on the number of Republican primary ballots pulled in each county during the 2014 Republican primary. Individuals speculated to replace Harms on the ballot include former State Senator Shane Cultra, Parkland College trustee and Ford County Republican Party chairman Tom Bennett and Susan Wynn Bence, an Iroquois County Board member who also is an aide to Harms.[14] He was replaced on the ballot by Parkland College Trustee Tom Bennett. Bennett will run on the Republican ticket against Democratic candidate and Watseka City Council member William Nutter.[15]

Election results[edit]

106th Representative District General Election, 2012[16]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Josh Harms 38,516 100%
Republican hold
106th Representative District Republican Primary Election, 2012[5]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Josh Harms 5,846 33.30%
Republican Tom Bennett 4,923 28.05%
Republican Scott McCoy 4,014 22.87%
Republican Brian Gabor 1,877 10.69%
Republican Richard Thomas 893 5.09%
Totals 17,553 100%

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Representative District 106". Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved 2013-12-10. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Representative Josh Harms (R)". Illinois General Assembly. Retrieved 2013-12-10. 
  3. ^ a b Kacich, Tom (2011-06-30). "Watseka teacher declares for 106th House seat". The News Gazette. Retrieved 2013-12-10. 
  4. ^ "106th Illinois House, Josh Harms (R)". The Peoria Journal-Star. 2012-02-28. Retrieved 2013-12-10. 
  5. ^ a b "Ballots Cast: General Primary - 3/20/2012 106th Representative". Illinois State Board of Elections. 2012-03-25. Retrieved 2013-12-10. 
  6. ^ "Thomas M. Bennett". Parkland College. Retrieved 2013-12-10. 
  7. ^ "General Election - 11/6/2012 - 106th Representative District". Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved 2013-12-10. 
  8. ^ Rezin, Ashlee (2013-02-15). "Illinois state legislators refuse pension". Prorgress Illinois. Retrieved 2013-12-10. 
  9. ^ a b c Kacich, Tom (2013-06-02). "Tom Kacich: Legislator can't wait to get home, but happy to be in Springfield". The News Gazzette. Retrieved 2013-12-10. 
  10. ^ "Bill Status of SB2748". Illinois General Assembly. 2013-08-14. Retrieved 2013-12-10. 
  11. ^ Howie, Mike (2013-05-20). "Bill would allow military service to fulfill police job requirement". The News Gazzette. Retrieved 2013-12-10. 
  12. ^ Miller, Rich (2014-07-02). "*** UPDATED x1 - Rep. Harms pulls out of race *** Rep. Jefferson stepping down". Capitol Fax. Retrieved 2014-07-07. 
  13. ^ Brumleve, Will (2014-06-30). "Harms will take name off ballot". News Gazette. Retrieved 2014-07-07. 
  14. ^ Kacich, Tom (2014-07-02). Illinois State Senate Republican Staff, ed. "Harms retirement". Champaign News Gazette. Illinois Senate Republicans Press Database. Retrieved 2014-07-07. 
  15. ^ Kacih, Tom (2014-08-03). "106th House District race heating up". The News Gazzette. Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  16. ^ "General Election - 11/6/2012 106th Representative". Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved 2013-12-10. 

External links[edit]