COD trustee Olsen to fill Sandack's seat

The vice chairman of the College of DuPage board has been chosen to replace 81st District state Rep. Ron Sandack of Downers Grove, who abruptly resigned from his seat.

David Olsen, a 27-year-old Downers Grove Republican, will finish the remainder of Sandack's term and seek election to the position in November.

"This is one of those rare times in life when you're called to serve," Olsen said. "I feel called to provide leadership and bring fresh eyes to Springfield. I want to dive in. I want to do my part to solve the problems."

A staunch ally of Gov. Bruce Rauner, Sandack stepped down last Sunday citing "cyber security issues." He spent two years in the state Senate before moving to the House in 2013.

On Saturday, DuPage County Republican Chairman Brian Krajewski and Will County Republican Chairwoman Kathy Havel picked Olsen to replace Sandack after interviewing a half-dozen candidates.

"David is an exceptional public servant, and he'll be a great state representative for us," Krajewski said in a statement.

In addition to being a College of DuPage trustee, Olsen has been a Downers Grove village commissioner since 2013. He's also the vice chairman of the Downers Grove Township Republican Organization.

Havel said Olsen has a record of supporting "respectful, responsible, representative government." She said he's commitment to the communities in the 81st District, which includes all or parts of Darien, Downers Grove, Lisle, Naperville, Westmont and Woodridge in DuPage and Will counties.

But if Olsen wants to keep the state representative seat, he will have to defeat Downers Grove Democrat Greg Hose in the Nov. 8 election. Hose is an attorney who has served on the Downers Grove village council since 2013.

Olsen, who works as an ethics and compliance analyst for BP Corp. North America Inc., said he's planning to start campaigning this weekend.

"We're going to jump right in," he said. "I'm going to be getting out into the district and talking to the people."

Olsen was appointed to the COD board in February to replace former Chairwoman Kathy Hamilton, who unexpectedly resigned in December.

His selection was significant because it broke a 3-3 tie among trustees that plagued the college and stalled business for months after Hamilton stepped down.

Olsen said he will remain on the COD board until the spring election. But he won't seek a full term on the panel.

Meanwhile, Olsen said he is going resign from his seat on the Downers Grove village council on Wednesday, the same day he's expected to be sworn in as a state representative.

On Saturday, COD board Chairwoman Deanne Mazzochi said she appreciated Olsen's commitment to finish his term at COD.

"After David Olsen was called to serve on COD's board of trustees, his presence produced an immediate positive impact that allowed critical reform efforts to move forward," Mazzochi said. "His constant professionalism and thoughtful consideration of issues is something Springfield needs, and the 81st District deserves."

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