Worker-friendly southern Illinois legislator Brandon Phelps steps down

ILLINOIS STATE REP. Brandon Phelps (D-Harrisburg), a former organizer for the Laborers International Union, and a strong supporters of workers and gun rights, is stepping down for medical reasons. – Franklin County News photo

Former organizer
for Laborers International Union


Illinois Correspodent

Harrisburg, IL – State Representative Brandon Phelps, a Southern Illinois Democrat who has supported both gun rights and the Labor Movement, has resigned for medical reasons.

Phelps, from Harrisburg, has held the 118th District seat since 2003. It will be up to Democratic Party chairmen from the counties in the district to choose a replacement to fill out Phelps’ term.

WSIL-TV reported that the medical problems relate to an eye he injured in a hunting accident years ago. The injury has caused him to miss time in the General Assembly in recent years.

Counties in the wide-ranging district include all or parts of Saline, Jackson, Union, Massac, Johnson, Alexander, Pulaski, Hamilton, Hardin and Gallatin.

Phelps is best known for leading the successful effort to pass a concealed-carry gun law in 2013.


“It has been my honor to serve the people of the 118th District as their state representative,” Phelps said in announcing his resignation. “I have worked to represent southern Illinois to the best of my ability.

“Together, in bipartisan manner, we worked to pass concealed carry, protect our state’s transportation funding, support our state’s agriculture, save 9-1-1 service and expand the use of coal, oil and gas for our region.

“Since day one, I’ve given it everything I’ve had, because our communities deserve a strong voice to speak up for our values and protect our way of life.  I want to thank all of those who worked alongside me, both in our communities and in our Capitol, as well as all my friends and loved ones.

“It has been my privilege to serve the people of the 118th District. My heart will always reside in southern Illinois.”

Phelps was chairman of the House Public Utilities Committee, vice chair of the Appropriations-Energy committee and a member of the Labor and Commerce committee and subcommittees on unemployment insurance and environmental regulations.

He is a former organizer for Labors International Union and is a member of the AFL-CIO. He holds a degree in political science from Eastern Illinois University.

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