Former La Salle County State’s Attorney Karen Donnelly announced her campaign for state representative for the newly-drawn 105th Illinois Legislative District.
The district includes portions of La Salle, Bureau, Putnam, Livingston, Woodford, McLean and Marshall counties, taking in Donnelly’s hometown of Tonica and Long Point, where she grew up.
Donnelly will vie for the Republican nomination in the district. Mike Kirkton, a Livingston County board member, who lives in Gridley, also is running for the Republican nomination.
The seat was held by Rep. Dan Brady, R-Bloomington, since 2001. The restructured district no longer includes Brady’s home. Brady announced he would not run for re-election, but will instead seek the Secretary of State post.
Donnelly said she has a record of success in reducing costs to taxpayers and standing up against corruption and demanding accountability among other elected officials during her tenure as state’s attorney.
The first woman state’s attorney in La Salle County, under Donnelly’s leadership brought the county its first treatment courts at no cost to the taxpayers, worked to establish a hotline for anonymous reporting of fraud in county government, and in complete transparency published her office bank records for all accounts held by her office for all to see how public funds were being used.
Donnelly also recovered more than $800,000 in contested insurance benefits owed to the county from tornado damage claims and decreased her office budget each year. Under Donnelly’s administration, she prioritized local feedback by holding community forums around the county regarding the rise in drug-related crimes and visited schools to talk with students and parents about their growing concerns and fears over violence in schools.
“Growing up in the small town of Long Point as the daughter of two loving parents, John and Lorraine Metzke, I understand the needs of the Illinois heartland and offer a commitment to build upon my record of keeping our communities safe by working closely with law enforcement and leading by example as an ethical steward of taxpayer dollars,” Donnelly said in a press release. “The unfunded mandates for law enforcement across the state will cause many small-town departments to close shop and instead rely upon our sheriffs to come to the aid of our communities. We cannot sit idly by waiting for Kim Foxx’s catch-and-release program for criminals to hit our heartland given the new bail reform measures put into place.”
Prior to being elected state’s attorney, Donnelly was employed in private practice with the firm of Mueller Anderson & Associates. She attended Illinois Valley Community College, Ashford University and Northern Illinois University College of Law. Donnelly, now a prosecutor in Grundy County, lives in Tonica with her husband of 32 years. She is the mother of two children and three grandchildren.