Danville, Illinois 61834, United States
May 31, 2016 02:37am
Judy was born in the rural community of Winamac, Indiana. Growing up, a future career in politics was the last thing on her mind. In school, she participated in 4-H and band; in college she sought to follow in her motherís footsteps and become a public school teacher.
After getting a teaching degree at Purdue, she moved to Illinois, adopting Illini ìorange and blueî in addition to the ìgold and blackî of her alma mater. She settled in Danville and became a working mother, first as a secretary for a small machining company, then as a substitute teacher in the public schools.
Vermilion County Recorder
After her children grew up, Judy entered the political arena. In 1980, voters elected her Vermilion County Recorder, a position she was elected to by overwhelming majorities five times. As Recorder, she streamlined the office, replacing books and ledgers with computers and digital technology. Judy's success led to her being named President of the Illinois Association of County Clerks and Recorders.
In 1997, Judy took her energy to Springfield after being named 53rd District State Senator following the death of popular Senator Babe Woodyard. She served from 1997 to 2002, establishing a strong record of service as a defender of both her constituents and common-sense government.
In the Senate, Judy worked for low tax, pro-growth policies aimed at enhancing the jobs climate and bringing economic opportunity to our area. She maintained high ratings from the Illinois Chamber of Commerce and National Federation of Independent Business, and received the "Jobs Defender" award from the Employment Law Council for her solid record of supporting pro-jobs legislation.
Illinois farmers were also high on Judyís agenda. As a member of the Agriculture Committee, she led efforts to promote Illinois farmers and the use of ethanol, and fought to give local farmers a leg up in the global marketplace. The Illinois Farm Bureau named her a "Friend of Agriculture" for her work on behalf of area farmers.
As a former teacher, education was the issue nearest to Judy's heart. She fought to make schools the number one budget priority, and worked to protect the interests of area colleges, including the University of Illinois, Parkland, Eastern Illinois University, Lake Land and Danville Area Community College. Judy's efforts in support of Illinois schools led Region 8 of the Illinois Education Association to name her a "Friend of Education."
Following redistricting that combined much of her 53rd District with the 52nd District, in 2002 Judy lost a close Republican Senate primary to Rep. Rick Winkel. Observers noted it was a clean campaign, in which both sides avoided mudslinging and focused on the substantive issues facing district voters.
Today, Judy is again running for the State Senate. She is eager to continue her fight for the classrooms, taxpayers and families of our area, and reverse the current state leadership's poor track record of debt, cuts to higher education and hidden tax hikes.
Judy is the mother of five and grandmother of seven. She lives in Danville, where she has lived with husband Mel Myers for more than 30 years. Judy and Mel own small businesses in Champaign, Urbana and Danville, and are members of St. James United Methodist Church. Judy is active in numerous community organizations, including the Provena-Covenant-USMC Central Region Board, Rotary Club, the Center for Childrenís Services Board, and the Danville Public Library Foundation Board.