Roger Eddy, Chuck Hartke, Jim Sacia and Zack Stamp were longtime legislators and lobbyists who became colleagues and friends. All were influenced by their upbringing. They have penned memoirs and are hosting joint book signings Aug. 17 1-5 p.m. at Boone's and Aug. 18 at D H Brown's, coinciding with Democrats Day and Republican Day at the Illinois State Fair.
Roger Eddy was a school superintendent in rural Crawford County when he was recruited to run as a Republican for an open seat in the Illinois House of Representatives. He served five terms before resigning in 2012 to become executive director of the Illinois Association of School Boards. He writes about his foray into politics and personal observations in his book, A Front Row Seat, The Impeachment of Rod Blagojevich.
Chuck Hartke tells his story in A Farm Boy's Journey into Politics. Hartke grew up on a family farm in southern Illinois and farmed until entering politics at the age of 40. He was in leadership with the House Democrats, often presiding as speaker. Hartke served 18 years before being appointed director of the Department of Agriculture by Gov. Blagojevich. He then became a lobbyist, retiring in 2019.
Not in My Wildest Dreams is Jim Sacia's memoir of his 27 years as an FBI agent in Illinois' far northwestern counties, retiring in 1997. He was a Republican state representative from 2003 to 2013. His passion for the FBI is evident in the stories of his many cases. He also writes about the influence of family and being raised on a dairy farm in Wisconsin.
Zack Stamp worked on Republican political campaigns, served on the Senate Republican staff, had a long association with Gov. Jim Thompson, directed the Illinois Department of Insurance and had his own lobbying firm. His memoir, Things as I Remember Them, provides insights to the inner workings of state government and his formative experiences in the 1950s and 1960s in the small town of Stronghurst.
Politics junkies and those who have worked around state government will recognize many of the people and incidents revealed in these books.