Shane Cultra Takes Rutherford’s 53rd District State Senate Seat

-By Warner Todd Huston

Dan Rutherford was the State Senator from the 53rd District, but with his recent election to our state treasurer’s office, that left his seat empty. Since a Republican held that seat the local Republican Party was given the task of choosing someone to replace Rutherford and fill out his term.

After much wrangling and many hats in the ring, the Party chose Shane Cultra of Onarga to be the man sent to Springfield.

It was a crowded field of nine Republicans vying to take Dan Rutherford’s empty seat. In the running were Gary Manier, David Zimmerman, and John Ackerman of Tazewell County; Matt Sorenson of McLean County; Jason Barickman, and John Bambenek of Champaign County; Scott McCoy and Mike Stoeklin of Livingston County; and finally Cultra of Iroquois County. Keith Sommer of Morton dropped out of contention recently due to his wife’s illness.

Cultra is strongly supported by the United Republican Fund and rated at “90” by that organization.

“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
–Samuel Johnson

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s,, and, as well as,,,, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.

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Copyright Publius Forum 2001