About State Senator Gary Forby...
Before becoming a member of the General Assembly, State Senator Gary Forby maintained his farm in Southern Illinois while working as an excavating contractor at Forby Excavating, a locally owned small business based in Benton. Forby also served as the former chairman of the Franklin County Board and as a Benton Township Board member before running for office. He has been an active member of the Operating Engineers’ and Laborers’ International Unions for nearly four decades.
After serving in the Illinois House of Representatives from 2001-03, Forby was chosen to fill former State Senator Larry Woolard’s seat in 2003. Since then, he has made job creation his top priority. He sponsored a major bill that created hundreds of new jobs at Continental Tire and worked closely with local officials to establish a STAR Bond District in Marion – which offers tax incentives for destination development.
Forby also has worked tirelessly to pass legislation aimed at revitalizing the coal industry in Southern Illinois. He worked with several local companies and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to help open new coal mines in Saline, Franklin and Jefferson counties, creating thousands of new jobs and utilizing the region’s rich mineral deposits.
Forby has been an outspoken advocate about the need to pay the state's bills on time, which has crippled rural health care providers and local school districts that rely more heavily on the state's late payments. He has also worked to protect the most vulnerable residents in his district and improve their living conditions in Southern Illinois. He is a strong backer of the Illinois Veterans Home of Anna and a strong supporter of residents' Second Amendment rights.
Born in Anna in 1945, Forby is a Southern Illinois native whose values reflect the strong traditions of the district he represents in Springfield. He currently lives in Benton with his four children and one grandchild, and remains very active in a number of local community organizations, including the Shriners and the Elks Club.