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|Member of the Illinois Senate
from the 59th district
June 7, 2003 – January 11, 2017
|Preceded by||Larry D. Woolard|
|Succeeded by||Dale Fowler|
|Member of the Illinois House of Representatives
from the 117th district
January 2001 – June 2003
|Preceded by||Larry D. Woolard|
|Succeeded by||John Bradley|
January 4, 1945 |
|Profession||Farmer and business owner|
Gary Forby (born January 4, 1945) is a former Democratic member of the Illinois Senate, representing the 59th District since June 2003. The 59th Senate District includes Franklin, Hamilton, Williamson, Saline, Gallatin, Hardin, Pope, Massac, Johnson, Union, Pulaski and Alexander counties in Southern Illinois.
He was previously a member of the Illinois House of Representatives from 2001 to 2003 before being appointed to fill former State Senator Larry Woolard’s vacant seat in 2003. He was defeated in his bid for another term on November 8th, 2016.
Early life, education and career
Born in Anna in 1945, Forby is a Southern Illinois native. He currently lives in Benton with his four children and one grandchild and remains very active in a number of local community organizations such as the Shriners and the Elk’s Club.
Before being becoming a member of the General Assembly, Forby worked on his farm in Southern Illinois and as an excavating contractor at Forby Excavating, a locally owned small business based in Benton, Illinois. Forby has served as the Chair of the Franklin County Board and as a member of the Benton Township Board and has been an active member of the Engineers’ and Laborers’ International Unions for nearly four decades.
Forby entered public service because he wanted the needs of Southern Illinois represented. During his time in the Senate, Forby has been a voice for the people of Southern Illinois by focusing on putting people to back work and bringing economic development to the area. Forby has also continued to be very outspoken about the need to pay the state's bills on time. While jobs and the economy are his main priorities, Forby has also worked to protect the most vulnerable residents in his district and improve their living conditions in Southern Illinois. He is a strong backer of Anna Veterans’ Home and a strong supporter of citizens’ second amendment rights.
On March 20, 2012, Forby won the Democratic Primary with 12,692 votes (77% of those voting). He defeated Republican Mark Minor in the General Election. In 2016, Forby lost the race for the 59th district to Republican Dale Fowler.
- Muir, Jim (17 June 2003). "Gary Forby Becomes a State Senator Today". thesouthern.com. The Southern Illinoisan. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
- "PA 97-0006 Legislative District 56" (PDF). Illinois State Board of Elections. 2011-05-18. Retrieved 2015-09-07.
- "2012 Illinois primary results: Illinois Senate - Chicago Tribune". Elections.chicagotribune.com. Archived from the original on 2012-03-22. Retrieved 2012-03-23.
- "Fowler bests Forby in 59th district". The Southern. November 9, 2016. Retrieved 10 November 2016.