GOP state rep to seek reelection in redrawn 70th District that includes DeKalb, Kane, McHenry counties

District will cover portions of DeKalb, Kane, McHenry counties; western portion of county including DeKalb no longer in district

State Rep. Jeff Keicher, R-Sycamore, speaks Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021, during a Veterans Day and Soldiers' and Sailors' Memorial Clock rededication ceremony in downtown DeKalb.

SYCAMORE – Republican state Rep. Jeff Keicher will seek reelection next year to the Illinois House in a newly redrawn 70th District that now includes portions of DeKalb, Kane and McHenry counties.

The new district, which won’t go into effect until 2022, will not include DeKalb or much of northern DeKalb County. Instead, it will include some of northern Kane County, including Pingree Grove and Hampshire, and some of McHenry County, including eastern Huntley and Lake in the Hills.

“What has got me to return is all of the positive feedback about a rational leader in our Legislature that’s able to have a dialogue and discussion instead of soundbites,” Keicher, of Sycamore, said in a phone interview Friday. “Now I think, more than ever, the state of Illinois needs a rational decision-maker who’s more selfless than selfish about the goals they’re pursuing.”

Keicher’s campaign announced his 2022 plans Friday.

New legislative districts, a result of the once-a-decade redrawing of lawmakers’ boundaries, will go into effect for the November 2022 election. The new 70th District covers significantly less of DeKalb County. Under the current maps, which remain in effect until the next election, DeKalb County was covered primarily by the 70th District. With the new lines drawn, the county will be represented by four different legislators.

The city of DeKalb no longer will be represented by the 70th District and instead falls in the 76th District, which is currently held by Rep. Lance Yednock, D-Ottawa. Genoa would be represented by the 89th District, which spans west all the way to the Illinois-Iowa border.

Keicher has been critical of redistricting. In a May statement, he said the new map “slices and dices DeKalb County up in an unprecedented way to the detriment of giving our local communities a strong voice in Springfield.”

He said he intends to continue his efforts addressing classroom learning for students amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We need to pull back on some of the mandates,” Keicher said.

He said he’ll prioritize job growth, infrastructure and workforce development after supporting Gov. JB Pritzker’s $45 billion Rebuild Illinois infrastructure package. Pritzker on Dec. 3 signed into law legislation Keicher co-sponsored, known as Faith’s Law. The law bans all forms of grooming, protecting students against sexual abuse.

Keicher, who is a State Farm insurance agent, said he also plans to legislate on behalf of those affected by substance abuse and sexual and domestic violence.

He said he’d like to see more efficiency at the state level to shorten the time people have to spend waiting to obtain documents for social services, or the creation of a centralized database where residents can access needed records from multiple agencies at the same time.

Keicher has served on the Illinois State Board of Education’s Make Sexual Abuse Fully Extinct (Make S.A.F.E.) Task Force and the Commission on Poverty Elimination and Economic Security, and he is the Republican spokesman on the House Higher Education Appropriations Committee.

Keicher has represented the 70th District since July 2018. He was elected to subsequent two-year terms in 2018 and 2020. Keicher is a graduate of Northern Illinois University and has worked in the insurance industry for more than 25 years. He lives in Sycamore with his wife, Karen, and their three children.

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