Pledging to serve in bipartisan fashion and reach out to all parts of her new constituency, former Elgin City Council member Anna Moeller was sworn in Sunday as the new state representative for the 43rd District.
In a ceremony held at Danny's Pizzeria in Elgin, Moeller received the oath of office from Kane County Judge John G. Dalton.
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She will fill the seat left vacant after Keith Farnham resigned March 19 amid a federal investigation.
"I will be an open, accessible and full-time representative who will work on behalf of working families to create jobs, strengthen our economy, support education for our children and move Illinois and the region in the right direction," Moeller said.
The Democrat said she intends to run for election in November, and has resigned her city council seat.
Moeller currently serves as executive director of the McHenry County Council of Governments. Her background includes working as legislative aide for former state Rep. Andrea S. Moore and legislative intern for former congressman John Porter. She was elected to the Elgin City Council in 2011, and also has served the Elgin Planning and Development Commission and Northeast Neighborhood Association of Elgin.
She was chosen from a field of eight candidates who came forward after Farnham stepped down. Farnham, who had represented the 43rd District since 2009, resigned six days after federal authorities raided his home and office to seize computers as part of a child pornography investigation.
"The choice was very difficult. We had eight very qualified individuals who expressed an interest in this position," said Mark Guethle, chairman of the Kane County Democratic Party.
Guethle said the party wanted a candidate who could step right in and provide constituents with a high level of service.
"Although several very qualified applicants were discussed, the difficult decision went to Anna Moeller because she has all the right stuff," he said.
Among the others who expressed interest were Kane County Board Member Cristina Castro and Elgin businessman Kevin Echevarria, both of whom were in attendance Sunday. Also there were Moeller's husband, Marc Moeller, a teacher in Barrington Unit District 220, and daughters, Madeline and Eleanor
"She had aspirations for such a thing, but maybe not so early in her career," Marc Moeller said.
State Sen. Michael Noland of Elgin said he is looking forward to working with Moeller.
"Anna's going to do a great job," he said.
However, he added, "The process for making the appointment locally here needs some improvement."
He said would have liked to have seen the process opened up to a wider body of individuals.
Moeller acknowledged the difficulty leaders had in making the choice.
"I don't envy the position that Chairman Guethle and others in the party had to go through in making this decision," she said.
As for the events that ultimately led to the seat's vacancy, she said, "I think all can agree it was just a very sad situation and not the circumstances I would have imagined."
The 43rd District includes a large part of Elgin, as well as parts of South Elgin, Carpentersville, and East and West Dundee.