Reitz replacing Costello

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Pictured is new state Rep. Nathan Reitz with wife, Deanna, after Nathan took the oath of office at Red Bud Winery Thursday afternoon.

The vacant 116th district state representative seat most recently held by Jerry Costello II (D-Smithton) is now being occupied by another family name familiar to this area.

Nathan Reitz, 42, of Steeleville, was selected Thursday as the replacement for Costello, who resigned his seat Tuesday after being appointed by Gov. JB Pritzker to serve as Director of Law Enforcement for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. 

Nathan, a plant supervisor for Luminant at the Baldwin power plant and a Steeleville Village Board trustee, is the son of former state representative Dan Reitz, who served the 116th district from 1997 to 2011. Costello, son of longtime retired U.S. representative Jerry Costello, was appointed to replace Dan upon his retirement.

“As a life-long Southern Illinoisan, our community deserves a representative in Springfield who will continue fighting every day for Southern Illinois and our values,” Nathan said. “Having spent my career in the energy industry, I am determined to help grow our local economy and making the decisions that help create new jobs. As state representative, I will fight every day to protect our Second Amendment rights, provide tax relief and responsible budgets, and make sure that Southern Illinois always has a strong voice in Springfield.”

Nathan, a Democrat, was chosen by the committee chairs of the Democratic Party from St. Clair, Randolph, Monroe and Perry counties. The law dictates the appointment must be of the same political party as the former representative. 

The committee chairs met Wednesday and Thursday and voted unanimously to select Nathan. His appointment was announced Thursday afternoon at Red Bud Winery, after which he was administered the oath of office.

Nathan said he wanted to take the position to continue the legacy of the representatives who came before him.

“I felt that I would be able to continue on serving like Jerry and my father did,” the Steeleville High School graduate said. “I have the same values as the people in this district and look forward to serving them.”

Nathan comes into office at a busy time, as several major bills are in the Illinois House or making their way to that chamber.

That includes a proposal to change the state’s income tax system to a graduated one and a bill that would legalize recreational marijuana use.

Nathan said he is familiar with those measures but noted that the language is not yet finalized.

“At this time, to form a real opinion would be a little difficult,” he said. “So I need some time to comb them over.”

Nathan has been married to his wife, Deanna, for 17 years. They have two children: a 16-year-old daughter named Callen and a 13-year-old son named Evan.”

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