Keicher named to finish Pritchard’s term in state House
SYCAMORE – Jeff Keicher will be sworn in Tuesday as the newest state representative from DeKalb County, replacing former state Rep. Bob Pritchard.
Keicher, of Sycamore, was selected by the Republican Party chairs of Boone, DeKalb and Kane counties to serve out the remainder of Pritchard’s term, which expires in January. Pritchard served as a Republican, so Republicans got to select his replacement. The swearing-in ceremony is set for 3:30 p.m. Tuesday at Dayton Farms at 17443 Old State Road in Sycamore.
DeKalb County Republican Central Committee Chairman Tim Bagby said the district would benefit from having someone serve in Pritchard’s place immediately rather than keeping the spot open until after the election.
Keicher said he is looking forward to learning the legislative process and is honored to be selected by county party officials.
“I’m humbled and excited to get started,” Keicher said.
Keicher, owner of the Sycamore State Farm for 12 years, said his first order of business in office will be declining the part-time salary of at least $67,000, pension and health care from the state. He said he doesn’t want to contribute to the state’s issues.
“The habit in this county is to make sure that we’re not underrepresented,” Bagby said.
Keicher, a State Farm insurance agent, is the Republicans’ nominee for the seat, so appointing him made perfect sense, Bagby said.
“There’s no point in appointing anyone for honorific purposes,” Bagby said. “It’s a very practical appointment.”
Keicher will face Democrat Paul Stoddard, a County Board member and soon-to-be retired Northern Illinois University geology professor, in the November election.
Pritchard left his seat earlier this month to join the NIU board.
Pritchard said he agreed that Keicher was the obvious choice and Keicher’s appointment harkens back to how Pritchard got his start in the legislative process.
“I think the process was fair and logical,” Pritchard said. “I think [Keicher] is a good candidate that has been working to get into the community.”
Bagby said Keicher was more than qualified to take the seat on a temporary basis. He said Keicher has been listening to voters on the campaign trail and is optimistic for his community and state.
“He loves Illinois and he loves his community,” Bagby said. “He loves Sycamore and he’s very much interested in serving the community in this way.”