Longtime state legislator Brandon Phelps resigns
A long-time Southern Illinois state legislator resigned from his post. The vacancy was quickly filled.
State Rep. Brandon W. Phelps, D-Harrisburg, resigned, effective Sept. 1. Phelps represented the 118th District in Southern Illinois. Phelps cited health reasons for his decision. He had served in office since 2003.
Phelps on Sept. 1 released the following statement about his decision:
“It has been my honor to serve the people of the 118th District as their state representative. I have worked to represent Southern Illinois to the best of my ability.
“Together in bipartisan manner, we worked to pass concealed carry, protect our state’s transportation funding, support our state’s agriculture, save 9-1-1 services, and expand the use of coal, oil and gas for our region.
“Since day one, I’ve given it everything I have, because our communities deserve a strong voice to speak up for our values and protect our way of life.
“Now in the interest of my personal health, it is my intention to step down effective today, Sept. 1.
“I want to thank all of those who worked alongside me, both in our communities and in our Capitol, as well as all my friends and loved ones.
“It has been my privilege to serve the people of the 118th District. My heart will always reside in Southern Illinois.”
Following Phelps’ resignation, Natalie Phelps Finnie, D-Elizabethtown, took office as state representative on Wednesday, Sept. 6.
A nurse, wife and mother of three, Phelps Finnie said she will continue a legacy of service to Southern Illinois families by making the voices and values of local families heard.
“Our area has given me so much, and I’ve always strived to give back. Growing up, my grandmother often quoted Luke 12:48: ‘To whom much is given, much shall be required’,” Phelps Finnie said.
“As a mother, wife and nurse, I know that service means putting others first. I never thought my path of service would lead me to represent our families in the Capitol, but more than anything I want to make sure Southern Illinois still has a leader who will make our voices and our values heard.”
Born and raised in Southern Illinois, Phelps Finnie is the daughter of former U.S. Rep. David Phelps and a cousin of former State Rep. Brandon Phelps.
She has spent much of her career as an advanced practice nurse at the Gallatin Wellness Center, a school-based health clinic that often serves as a frontline care provider for many children in the area.
“In my clinic, I’ve seen the challenges we face firsthand,” Phelps Finnie said.
“The opioid drug crisis is taking a toll on entire families and communities.
“When businesses ship our jobs overseas to pad their profits, families struggle to build a middle-class life and young people are often unable to receive basic medical care.
“Every day I see the faces of the precious children who walk into my clinic, and as state representative I will continue my fight to give them access to the kind of future that every child deserves.”
Phelps Finnie said she will maintain a full-time constituent service office at 607 S. Commercial St. in Harrisburg, and will regularly travel throughout her district to host satellite office hours, to meet regularly with citizen advisory panels to discuss the communities in her district, and to go door-to-door to talk with residents about their thoughts.
Phelps Finnie’s constituent service office can be reached at 618-253-4189.