|Member of the Illinois Senate|
from the 46th district
|Assumed office |
|Preceded by||George Shadid|
|Born||December 16, 1948|
|Alma mater||Yankton College (B.A.)|
United Theological Seminary (M.Div.)
David "Dave" Koehler (born December 16, 1948) is a Democratic politician from Illinois, and has been the Illinois State Senator from 46th Legislative District since December 2006. The 46th district includes Canton, East Peoria, Fairview, Lewistown, Mapleton, Peoria, Pekin and West Peoria.
He was a staff member at the National Farm Worker Ministry (NFWM) from 1972 to 1978 working in Arizona, Ohio, New York, and eventually at the United Farm Workers La Paz headquarters in Keene, California.
He moved to Peoria, Illinois in 1978, and became a community organizer[clarification needed] manager and for the Peoria Friendship House, a local charity. He became executive director of the Peoria Area Labor Management Council (PALM) in 1985, and president of its Labor Management Cooperative Health Programs in 1992.
Koehler was elected to the Illinois Senate in November 2006; his predecessor, George Shadid, retired in December 2006, allowing Koehler to take office in December prior to his elected term in January 2007. He was re-elected uncontested in 2010.
In early 2010, Koehler and other lawmakers called for the elimination of the position of Illinois Lieutenant Governor. After candidate Scott Lee Cohen, the Democratic primary winner for Lieutenant Governor, dropped out, Koehler applied to be considered for that seat as running mate in Governor Pat Quinn's first election campaign after succeeding to the governorship. Sheila Simon was selected by the Democratic State Central Committee instead, and won the election.
During the 96th Illinois General Assembly, Koehler was the chair of the Local Government Committee and of the Subcommittee on Fertilizers and Chemicals (of the Agriculture and Conservation Committee). He is also Vice-Chair of the Energy Committee. In the 97th General Assembly, he was once again chair of the Local Government Committee and chair of vice-chair of the Energy Committee.
Saying he had a good team and was pleased by the results, Sen. Koehler defeated his Republican opponent for a second four-year term in the Nov. 2012 general election, Peoria-area businessman and developer Pat Sullivan, by a margin of 39,149 to 31,684 — or a 55 percent to 45 percent margin, with Tazewell County unable to provide complete results late Tuesday. His priorities are pension reform and tax code changes, civil unions, passing of concealed carry, and containing the budget and a backlog of unpaid bills.
Koehler was reelected to a fourth term in 2016. In 2018, J.B. Pritzker appointed Koehler to Powering Illinois’ Future transition committee, which is responsible for infrastructure and clean energy policies.
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