Susan Wynn Bence has announced that she will be seeking the nomination for the Senate seat in the 53rd district currently held by Tom Bennett. She served as Bennett’s Chief of Staff before accepting a position as the Downstate/Springfield Director and Legislative Liaison for then Illinois Lieutenant Governor, Evelyn Sanguinetti where she was appointed the principal staffer for the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council and led working groups on policy in the areas of workforce development, economic development, rural health and education.
Susan also assisted with speech writing, the Governor’s Opioid Taskforce and added her experience in health care and social service issues to the Governor’s integrated policy team where she helped draft legislation.
Susan served as the Chief of Staff and Campaign Manager for former State Representative Josh Harms and recently worked as the Community Liaison for Gibson Area Hospital and Health Services before becoming the first female bailiff in Iroquois County.
Elected three times to the Iroquois County Board, she served on the Finance, Health, Policy and Procedure, and Chairman of the Judicial and Public Safety Committees. Susan has worked in Social Services. Education, Government Affairs for most of her professional career in both the United States and Europe. Her interest in politics began while a student at Eureka College where she met and became inspired by the college’s most famous alum, Ronald Reagan.
She is the past president of the Illinois Federation of Republican Women and the Iroquois County Republican Women’s Club. She has also represented Illinois on the board of directors for the National Federation of Republican Woman. Susan also served on the Board of Governors and helped to reorganize the Illinois Lincoln Series. She has held many positions in these organizations continues to be an active member today.
Susan earned a bachelor’s degree from Eureka College and master’s degree in Education from Olivet Nazarene University. Additionally, she is a graduate of the United Counties Council of Illinois Leadership Academy, the Illinois Leadership Academy, and the Academy of Municipal Excellence at the Institute of Government and Public Affairs, University of Illinois.
She presently serves as the President of the Watseka Area Chamber of Commerce, President of Watseka Kiwanis Club, and Chairman of the Board for Illinois Rural Partners. And, concurrently serves on the Board of Directors for the Illinois Rural Health Association, Iroquois County Historical Society and Old Courthouse Museum, Ford Iroquois 4H Foundation, Iroquois County Opioid Collation, the Juvenile Justice Council, and a 4H leader.
Susan is an overachiever who is always willing to go the extra mile and states that she is “ready to hit the ground running!” Susan lives in Watseka with her husband Mitchell Bence and their two Miniature Schnauzers.