Pritchard to fill Wirsing’s Illinois Rep. vacancy

By Libby John

Robert Pritchard was selected to fill the expired term of the late State Representative David Wirsing (R-Sycamore).

Wirsing died of an apparent heart attack Nov. 16.

Pritchard, who is now the former DeKalb County Board chairman, said the position is a part of his political progression.

“I have been active in politics, and this is just the next step,” he said. “I enjoy serving and trying to make a difference.”

Pritchard was selected by the Representative Committee of the Republican Party of the 70th Representative District, which includes Chris Martin, secretary; Bob Vickrey, chairman of the DeKalb, Ogle and LaSalle County Republican Central Committees; and Mary Simons, chairman.

“We felt he would fill the seat nicely,” Simons said.

Simons said about 10 people were interviewed for the job, but Pritchard filled the requirements well, including the fact he was able to accept the full-time position quickly.

Pritchard said he hopes to establish advisory boards to look at key issues that would be of most concern to the people in his district.

He also said he hopes to have a good relationship with the university and looks forward to working with the people there.

“I am humbled by the responsibility,” Pritchard said.

He will be sworn in as state representative at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Legislative Center, 200 N. Main St., Sycamore.

John Wilson, vice chairman of the county board, will be named chairman. A vice chairman will be selected in the coming weeks.

Pritchard was the executive director of the Illinois Agricultural Leadership Foundation. He has served on numerous county organizations, including the Ben Gordon Center.

Pritchard plans on running for state representative in the next election, which will take place next spring. That also was one of the things the Representative Committee took into consideration when picking a replacement.

The remaining term will end in January 2005.