Grundy County chairman Chris Balkema announces candidacy for 53rd District senate seat

Balkema will vie for Sen. Tom Bennett’s seat, as Bennett announced he will retire after this term

Chris Balkema

Grundy County Board Chairman Chris Balkema announced his candidacy for the 53rd District in the Illinois Senate.

Balkema, a Republican, has served as Grundy County chairman for the past six years. He said he has brought financial stability to the county during challenging financial times.

Balkema will be vying for state Sen. Tom Bennett’s (R-Gibson City) seat, as Bennett announced he will retire at the end of his term. The primary election is set March 19 and the general election Nov. 5.

The district includes Grundy, Bureau, Ford, Iroquois, La Salle, Livingston, Marshall, McLean, Peoria, Putnam, Tazewell, Will and Woodford counties.

During Balkema’s tenure, he said he defended Grundy County residents against gun regulations and executive orders during the COVID-19 pandemic. He said his firm stance ensured the rights of Grundy County residents were never compromised.

“Illinois is on the cusp of ushering in an era marked by strong conservative governance, focused on safeguarding individual rights, ensuring fiscal discipline and building a bright, prosperous future for all residents,” Balkema said in a news release Tuesday making his announcement.

He said if he is elected the 53rd District can anticipate a future defined by improvement, integrity and an unwavering commitment to the principles that make Illinois great.

For more information on Balkema’s campaign go to or email

Shaw Local News Network

Shaw Local News Network

Shaw Local News Network provides local news throughout northern Illinois