Metro-East News

Haine to seek fifth term in Senate


State Senator Bill Haine, D-Alton
State Senator Bill Haine, D-Alton

State Sen. Bill Haine announced Tuesday he will seek a fifth term in the Illinois Senate in 2016.

Haine, a Democrat from Alton, was first appointed to the seat in 2002, after former Sen. Evelyn Bowles retired early.

Haine then won elections in 2002, 2004, 2008 and 2012. In 2012 Haine received about 59 percent of the vote to defeat Republican challenger Mike Babcock.

Haine, 71, previously served as state’s attorney of Madison County.

Haine, who represents the 56th Senate District, said he wants to help solve the state’s budget problems and protect workers.

“Illinois is in a budget crisis. Lawmakers need to work together and prioritize the people of Illinois, not policies that hurt working families and our most vulnerable,” Haine said. “I am running for re-election to continue my fight for responsible budgeting and real reform that protects our citizens. Cutting critical and cost-saving programs only hurts Illinois.”

He added, “Our child and home care workers should be able to provide their essential services, our seniors should be able to depend on critical programs that help them live independent and productive lives, and our hardworking students should be able to afford to go to college.”

So far, no challengers have publicly announced a candidacy for the seat.

Haine, a Vietnam veteran, was planning to hold a campaign kick-off event Thursday at the Wood River Moose Lodge.

He serves as chair of the Senate’s downstate caucus. He and his wife live in Alton, and have seven children and 30 grandchildren.