Harry (Harry) Benton (D-097)

State Representative Harry Benton

Harry (Harry) Benton (D-097)
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Capitol: 217.782.8223
FAX: 217.782.3885
District: 815.254.0000
Representative
Stratton Office Building 401 South Spring Street
Springfield, IL 62706
401 South Second Street
Springfield, IL 62706
Residence:Plainfield, IL

Committee Assignments

Committee Assignments

Bio

I grew up in Crest Hill, IL and attended Richland Grade School then Lockport Township High School. My mother, Carol Benton, worked for 36 years at the VA as an administrative assistant. My father, Harry James Benton Jr, worked for the Wall Street Journal as a pressman. Both sides of my family raised or are raising their families on union wages and benefits (Mailers, Teamsters, Ironworkers, Laborers, and Millwrights), along with military service and benefits (WWII and Vietnam). I grew up working in soup kitchens with my father, and participating in church. We volunteered to bring meals and gifts to veterans with my mother and sometimes just stayed for visitation of the lonely. I maintain a volunteer presence within the community, for a variety of causes. I learned the value of giving back to the communities that shaped me to become the man I am today. I learned the importance of making sure that I am always to lend a helping hand to all of my neighbors when they are in need. When I was 17 years old, my mother, 58, had brain surgery resulting in a bleed out on the table and stroke. She lost short-term memory and some long-term memory and never walked again. She was facility dependent, needing round the clock care. With no one willing to take on a university hospital, my father spent most of his savings, refinanced all the equity out of their home, and dissolved his retirement to pay for her medical bills and nursing homes. After about a year and a half of being denied Medicaid, while trying to keep himself and the family together, all while paying over $5,000 a month to a nursing home plus medical bills and nearly going broke, they were finally approved. At 19 years old, in November 2006, I moved out with my girlfriend, now wife Erin, to start our life. Shortly after, my father went on medical disability from work, I worked overtime and at one point two jobs, to help my father pay the bills along with my own. We found that it was cancer attacking his bones and spreading rapidly, something that could have been prevented previously, had his physician sent him for the right tests. He had his kidney removed 5 years prior, weighing 13 pounds and the size of a football. His doctors ignored the warnings and denied the signs. I took an unpaid FMLA, giving up my savings to help take care of my father, in home hospice care. He passed June 13th, 2007 at 60. Shortly after, I became my mother's legal guardian, taking all financial and fiduciary duties, along with her well being until her passing December 7th, 2010 at 64. She came down with pneumonia, her body was breaking down and lungs collapsing, but the hospital refused the surgically treat her and I was forced to carry out her DNR. I married my wife, Erin Benton, in 2011 when I was 24 and we bought a home in Plainfield in 2012, where we planted our roots and planned to raise our family. I then became part of the community, becoming a board member of my Home Owners Association, and helping to come up with solutions to problems within the community. My wife and I began trying for a baby, when we became derailed by a severe car accident. I was run off the road by a semi on the highway, on the way to work. After my truck rolled, I was ejected over 100 feet from the vehicle. I recovered enough to go back to work. A couple months later, we started trying again. After struggling for over a year, almost two, we decided to seek help. We met with a fertility specialist, who determined we needed to begin fertility procedures. After all the stress, painful procedures my amazing wife battled through, and financial distress, we were blessed with our beautiful daughter Evelyn. I wanted to do more for my community and saw a need for responsible change to our village. I decided to run for the Plainfield Village Board. I wanted to be a champion and outspoken voice for government transparency, supporting local small businesses, meaningful economic development, holding the line on taxes, and improving local infrastructure. I won my election, and am currently a Trustee in the Village of Plainfield. I am an open book, level headed, hard working, knowledgeable, ethical, and will do what it takes to better the lives of my neighbors. I am running be cause I want to expand in my abilities to service my community, and not to serve the wants of special interests. If elected, I will be a voice for you in Springfield.

Election / Personal Info

First Elected: 2022    Next Election: 2024
Spouse: Erin   
Counties Representing
Calhoun
Greene
Jersey
Macoupin
Madison
Morgan
Pike