Rutherford's seat filled

DeWayne Bartels

Central Illinois Republican leaders meeting Sunday in Bloomington chose state Rep. Shane Cultra to fill the soon-to-be vacant state senate seat of Dan Rutherford, the Bloomington Pantagraph is reporting.

According to the Pantagraph, Cultra’s selection came at the end of a day-long process.

Cultra, who hails from Onarga, has been a member of the state House of Representatives  since 2003. His website states he currently serves as Republican spokesperson on the Rural Economic Development Committee. He also served 14 years on the Iroquois County Board, where he served terms both as chairman and vice chairman.

Local candidates vying for Rutherford’s seat were Tazewell County Board member John Ackerman, Washington Mayor Gary Manier and Tazewell County Board Chairman David Zimmerman.

Ackerman had predicted this outcome last week. Ackerman said he was honored to even be considered for Rutherford’s seat. But, he said, he believed a sitting member of the Illinois House of Representatives has the best chance of being tapped.

“My money is on State Rep. Shane Cultra (R-105th District),” Ackerman said last week.

Cultra graduated from Michigan State University with an agricultural technology degree specializing in landscape and nursery management.

He has been involved in the operation of the family business, Onarga Nursery, since childhood.

His current assignments in the House inculde: Committee of the Whole; Agriculture & Conservation; Human Services; Environment & Energy; Judiciary II - Criminal Law; Labor; Financial Institutions and Managing Sex Offender Issues.