Illinois electric co-ops award three legislators for public service

During the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives’ (AIEC’s) annual meeting on Aug. 3-4, three elected officials were named recipients of Illinois Electric Cooperatives’ Public Service Award. This year’s recipients included State Representative Dave Severin, State Senator Doris Turner and Congressman Darin LaHood. The award is given in recognition of dedicated public service to all citizens of the state of Illinois and for outstanding contributions to the rural electrification program.

“Representative Severin understands electric cooperative issues and is a tireless advocate on our behalf. It is refreshing to see such a smart, hardworking legislator with a common-sense approach,” said Craig Sondgeroth, president/CEO of AIEC. “Electric cooperatives need great advocates like Representative Severin, so members have safe, affordable and reliable electricity.”

Severin represents the 116th District and has served since 2017. His district includes the service territories of Norris Electric Cooperative, SouthEastern Illinois Electric Cooperative, Tri-County Electric Cooperative and Wayne-White Counties Electric Cooperative.

Doris Turner
State Senator Doris Turner is a 2023 recipient of the Public Service Award.

“Senator Turner has shown that she understands utility issues and how important it is that policy does not get ahead of technology,” Sondgeroth said. “I appreciate that Senator Turner is always willing to meet with electric cooperatives with an open mind and works to understand our challenges and differences from other utility providers. She always tries to vote for the best interests of her constituents.”

Turner represents the 48th District and has served since 2021. Her district includes the service territories of Shelby Electric Cooperative, Menard Electric Cooperative and Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative.

“Illinois electric cooperatives are fortunate to have Representative LaHood in Congress,” Sondgeroth said. “Since his days in the Illinois State Senate, Representative LaHood understands the noble effort and the difficulties of providing electricity in rural Illinois where populations can be sparse. He always takes the time to listen to our issues and has been a great advocate for electric cooperatives in Washington, D.C.”

LaHood was unable to be in attendance and will accept the award at a later date. This is also a special achievement for the LaHood family as former Representative Ray LaHood received the same award in 1999.

LaHood currently serves the constituents of the 16th District of Illinois. He previously represented the 18th District from 2015 to 2023. Prior to Congress, LaHood served in the Illinois Senate 37th District from 2011 to 2015. His district includes the service territories of Corn Belt Energy, Eastern Illini Electric Cooperative, Jo-Carroll Energy and Rock Energy Cooperative.

Pictured above: AIEC’s President/CEO Craig Sondgeroth, Legal and Government Relations Coordinator Baylee Flowers and VP of Government Relations Nick Reitz present State Representative Dave Severin a 2023 Public Service Award.