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Revision as of 14:42, 9 April 2013

Gary Forby
Gary Forby.jpg
Illinois State Senate District 59
In office
2003 - Present
Term ends
January 11, 2017
Years in position 12
Base salary$67,836/year
Per diem$111/day
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
Next generalNovember 8, 2016
Term limitsN/A
Date of birthJanuary 4, 1945
Place of birthAnna, Illinois
Office website
Campaign website
Gary Forby is a Democratic member of the Illinois State Senate. Forby has served in the Illinois Senate since 2003 when first appointed to the position by former Governor Rod Blagojevich. Forby also served in the Illinois House of Representatives from 2001 to 2003.

Forby graduated with his high school diploma. He works as a excavating contractor and farmer in addition to being a Senator.

Committee assignments


At the beginning of the 2013 legislative session, Forby served on the following committees:

Illinois Committee Assignments, 2013
Committee of the Whole
Labor and Commerce, Chair


In the 2011-2012 legislative session, Forby served on these committees:


In the 2009-2010 legislative session, Forby served on these committees:[1]


Campaign themes


Forby's campaign website lists the following issues:[2]

  • Putting Southern Illinois Back to Work
Excerpt: "Gary Forby has worked to balance the budget and improve the region’s economy by revitalizing the Southern Illinois coal industry. ...He continues that same pledge this year by fighting to keep open Tamms Correctional Center, which is facing the chance of closure under the Governor’s budget proposal."
  • Bringing Money Back to Southern Illinois
Excerpt: "Gary Forby has worked closely with local mayors to bring taxpayer money back to communities in our District. He helped secure millions of dollars in state grants to replace water lines in Herrin, Benton, Carmi, Pope County, Shawneetown and Zeigler."
  • Protecting Southern Illinois Values
Excerpt: "Gary Forby continues to lead the effort to bring concealed carry to Illinois, which would allow properly trained, law-abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons and defend themselves, and he fought to keep the names of FOID card holders private to ensure their safety."

Concealed carry

From State House News:

In May 2011, Gov. Pat Quinn announced that he would veto the concealed carry bill on which the Illinois Legislature had voted, if it landed on his desk. The bill would allow Illinois residents to carry concealed firearms in public.

That threat held little water because the bill had a lot of support and might win through a supermajority (71 votes in the House and 36 votes in the Senate) of votes from both chambers.

Rep. Brandon W. Phelps said he was trying to find enough support in the House to move the plan over to the Senate. Phelps said he wanted to call House Bill 148 for a vote on May 5, regardless of Quinn's opposition.

"I just think that (Quinn) is wrong," Phelps said. "And you agree to disagree. Sometimes people within your own party disagree with what they say. And I totally disagree with him today."

Under HB 148, Illinois residents 21 and older could apply for permits to carry concealed firearms in public, except for places like schools, churches and inside state government buildings. Applicants would need to pass a written exam, firearms training exercises and background checks.

"About two-thirds of the citizens of our state are steadfastly and strongly opposed to allow private citizens to carry loaded, concealed handguns in public places," Quinn said.

Sen. Gary Forby said the opponents of concealed carry mostly live in and around Chicago and that people downstate, and in other states, support the idea.

"I think all we are doing now, we are really helping the state of Illinois with what they got to do to get a license and stuff," Forby said. "So all you are going to do is put guns in peoples' good hands."

Quinn said the plan may lead to more violence.

"I don't think that's healthy, if you are going to the grocery store," Quinn said. "You bump into somebody accidentally, and they take offense, they can pull out a loaded, concealed handgun to assuage their anger."

Sen. Larry Bomke said the plan would deter violence, because potential burglars would less likely rob homeowners with guns.

"I can only hope that he changes his mind once the bill gets to his desk," Bomke said. "And I feel fairly confident it will. But it will be important that we have enough votes, a supermajority, to override his decision if he chooses to veto the bill."

Rep. Jason Barickman said lawmakers have been working carefully to craft the plan.

“At the end of the day, we certainly would appreciate the governor's support,” Barickman said. “But with him making it clear that he opposes this right, this constitutional right, this right that a mass number of people support. I think that we just have to continue lining up our legislative votes and push forward."

Rep. Norine Hammond hopes that's enough support.

“A lot of people have worked on this very hard — lots of law enforcement input,” she said. “I think it is a very strong bill. And hopefully we could get it passed," she said.

In the end though, Rep. Richard Morthland said it won’t matter what the governor chooses to do with the legislation if there are enough votes.

"There is a last minute roll call being taken just trying to figure out where people are, and how we are doing, and do we have exactly the number of votes we need, how close are we,“ Morthland said. “I think it looks good. Hopefully we will be able to move it this week."[3]



See also: Illinois State Senate elections, 2012

Forby won election in the 2012 election for Illinois State Senate District 59. Forby defeated Fred Kondritz in the Democratic primary on March 20, 2012 and defeated Mark Minor (R) in the general election which took place on November 6, 2012.[4][5][6][7]

Illinois State Senate, District 59, General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngGary Forby Incumbent 59.1% 55,502
     Republican Mark Minor 40.9% 38,435
Total Votes 93,937

Illinois State Senate, District 59 Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngGary Forby Incumbent 77.7% 12,700
Fred Kondritz 22.3% 3,636
Total Votes 16,336


On November 4, 2008, Democrat Gary Forby won re-election to the Illinois State Senate District 59 receiving 49,552 votes, ahead of Republican Ken Burzynski (46,727 votes).[8]

Illinois State Senate, District 59 (2008)
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Gary Forby (D) 49,552
Ken Burzynski (R) 46,727

Campaign donors


Campaign donor information is not yet available for this year.


In 2008, Forby collected $1,395,610 in donations.[9]

Listed below are those that contributed most to his campaign.

Donor Amount
Illinois Senate Democratic Fund $450,940
Friends of Clayborne $200,000
Illinois Federation of Teachers $65,587
Illinois Health Care Association $55,013
Illinois Laborers $44,722
Southern & Central Illinois Laborers District Council $43,000
Illinois Education Association $42,900
Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois $29,500
Illinois State Medical Society $25,000
Friends of Don Harmon $20,000
Silverstein for Senator $18,000
Deep Blue Illinois $15,000
Simmonscooper LLC $11,000
Service Employees Local 880 $11,000
John Sullivan $10,000
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers $9,450
Illinois Realtors Association $8,900
Illinois AFL-CIO $7,529
AFSCME Illinois Council 31 $6,300
Associated Beer Distributors of Illinois $6,000


Illinois Opportunity Project

See also: Illinois Opportunity Project's Legislative Vote Card

The Illinois Opportunity Project, "an independent research and public policy enterprise that promotes legislative solutions in advance of free markets and free minds," annually releases its Legislative Vote Card, grading all members in both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly on the basis of their support of "pro-growth economic policies that increase personal freedom and reign in expansive government."[10][11]


Forby received a score of 62.50 out of 100 in 2012 for a grade of C- according to the IOP’s grading scale. His score was tied for the 24th highest among all 59 members of the Illinois State Senate included in the Vote Card.[11]

Recent news

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District 59

Forby represents Illinois Senate District 59. District 59 includes South Central Illinois[12].


Forbes and his wife Angie have four children and reside in Benton, Illinois.

External links

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Political offices
Preceded by
Illinois Senate District 59
Succeeded by