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Shorewood Trustee Says He's Running for State Senate

Gary Fitzgerald joins three others who say they are or may be candidates in the 2012 Republican primary.

Shorewood Village trustee Gary Fitzgerald is the fourth candidate to announce interest in running as a Republican for the newly created 49th District Illinois Senate seat.

He joins a field in which Plainfield Village trustee Garrett Peck has already announced his election plans and Tony Giles, an Oswego village trustee, and Robert Kalnicky, a Fountaindale Library Board member, have formed exploratory committees.

Thus far, no Democrats have publicly announced they are running in the 2012 primary.

Fitzgerald, a 10-year, three-term Shorewood Village Board member, is a senior management administrator for a major health plan, former president of the Will County Board of Health and former director of criminal justice planning for the city of Joliet.

He says his chief goal will be getting "Illinois back to being a job-producing, growth-friendly state."

"While the one-party domination in Springfield has not been good for anyone, it is especially hard on those who need and want to work,"  Fitzgerald said in a written statement announcing his candidacy.

"I am very concerned about the effects of this anti-business environment on our future generations, and the prospects they face of a reduced standard of living. We need a champion for free enterprise, less taxation and less regulation, and that will be my goal if elected."

Fitzgerald, who chairs Shorewood's Planning and Zoning Commission and serves on the board's finance committee, said he has helped the village deal with the tremendous growth of the last decade. The village has maintained a low tax rate while seeing a large increase in new businesses, he said. 

Fitzgerald has been married for 33 years and has three children. He received a bachelor's degree in political science from Illinois State University and a master's in public administration from Northern Illinois University. 

He has worked with several community organizations, including Big Brothers Big Sisters of Will and Grundy Counties and St. Jude School Board in Joliet, and has coached youth baseball and basketball. He is a military veteran who served in Vietnam.

The new 49th District, as created under a newly approved state redistricting map, includes all or parts of Shorewood, Plainfield, Joliet, Crest Hill, Romeoville, Bolingbrook and Oswego. The incumbent state senator for the area, Linda Holmes (D-Aurora), remains in the 43rd District, which was moved further north.

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