GENEVA – State Rep. Steve Andersson, R-Geneva, will not seek a third term, he announced Aug. 17 in a news release, stating that he believes his advocacy would be stronger outside of the General Assembly than within it.
“There are others who are better suited to the current partisan politics of this chamber,” the release stated. “At the end of this term, I’ll be stepping aside to afford that opportunity to another individual.”
Andersson’s release also noted changing politics, even within the time he has served, as a factor in his decision.
“The temperament of my party has shifted, and the Republican Party values I grew up with seem to be increasingly absent or changing,” Andersson said. “Moving forward, I will continue to fight, and I will continue to lead, with the same Republican values I have held to for 40 years.”
Those values are “entrenched in the notion of living within our means, honoring our commitments, building strong businesses, ensuring equality for all, valuing human life and delivering a sustainable government,” the release stated.
“In addition, I will also fight for those who have the least voice: the mentally ill, the developmentally disabled, those afflicted with substance abuse and other issues,” the release stated.
Referring to his vote to approve the state’s first budget in two years, Andersson’s release noted that when the state was “on the brink of a financial cliff of such enormity that we would not recover for decades, I came to the same conclusion as many of my colleagues, that the cost of inaction outweighed the cost of compromise.”
“As a result of the vote, we brought the state back from the fiscal edge and passed a balanced budget – the first in decades – while continuing the fight to build on the many reforms we did achieve,” Andersson’s release stated.
“I, along with 14 other Republicans, rose up and joined rank-and-file Democrats in an effort to end the impasse,” Andersson’s release stated. “Due to the partisan infighting, the clock had run out and time was up, despite two and a half years of negotiations, there was no viable deal that could be passed in time to save our state from disaster. We could no longer watch while our state burned without a budget for the longest time of any state in U.S. history.”
As a result of the vote, the state was brought back from the fiscal edge and lawmakers passed the first balanced budget in decades, the release stated.
But Republicans continued the fight “to build on the many reforms we did achieve,” the release stated.
“These significant reforms include procurement reform, government consolidation initiatives and criminal justice reform," the release stated. "We lived to fight another day and saved the state from financial collapse."
“I am proud of the work I have done during my tenure,” the release stated.
Legislation and initiatives Andersson worked on included passing legislation giving voters the right to dissolve local governments; being a staunch advocate from the beginning for the future energy jobs bill; insuring children get screened for social and emotional learning issues at an early age, making local government and the courts run more efficiently and for honoring Gold Star Families with their own day each year, the release stated.
Andersson was first elected in November 2014 and was re-elected in November 2016. His current term is up in the 2018 general election.