Watch now: Newly-sworn in state Sen. Doris Turner hopes to leave impact that outlives time in office

Turner was not the only one who made history Saturday. In Chicago, Democratic Party officials selected Mike Simmons to replace retiring state Sen. Heather Steans.

Simmons is the first Black senator to represent the city’s north side and the first openly gay man to serve in the Senate. 

Simmons’ district, which includes several neighborhoods on Chicago’s north side and parts of Evanston, is among the most diverse in the state.

Turner’s district, which includes all or parts of all or parts of Christian, Macon, Macoupin, Madison, Montgomery and Sangamon counties, is about 80% white and only 14% Black. Though it includes the urban cores of Decatur and Springfield, it is otherwise rural.

“I’ve always represented a district that individuals thought was not favorable to me, whether it was because I’m a woman or a Democrat or an African American,” Turner said. “And I believe that when you reach out and connect with people and show them the hard work that you’re putting in and address their issues and address their needs, they will vote for you.”

Before serving on the council, Turner was a member of the Sangamon County Board for a decade, serving as Democratic floor leader. She’s also been a delegate to three Democratic National Conventions.

Turner worked for the state of Illinois for 33 years, including 22 years at the Illinois Department of Public Health, where she was chief of the center for minority health services.

Region: Decatur,City: Decatur,Politics,Region: Central


February 8, 2021 at 08:51PM

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