A Publication of WTVP

He always sought common ground and reasonable compromise to get good things done.

Many politicians today speak about the need for more bipartisanship without really knowing what it means to use this effective leadership approach to govern. But State Senator George Shadid, who sadly George and Lorraine Shadidpassed away last month, actually lived and breathed bipartisanship through his actions. During his remarkable public service career, he often reached across the political aisle to find common ground and reasonable compromise to get good things done for our state and region.

As the former District Chief of Staff to Congressman Ray LaHood, I saw firsthand the genuine bipartisan relationship that existed between Senator Shadid and Congressman LaHood. Shadid was the most influential Democratic elected official in the Peoria region, and Ray LaHood was the top Republican in central Illinois. Four times a year they would convene bipartisan meetings in the Peoria congressional office with area lawmakers to work together on important projects and discuss critical regional issues.

Out of these very productive meetings, significant projects sprang up that continue to have a positive impact on the Peoria region. They include:

This list only scratches the surface of the positive impact of Senator Shadid’s public service career. Other memorable characteristics for which he was known include his honesty and bluntness. Everyone knew where he stood. He was a man of his word—nothing fake about him. While his language was often “colorful,” it was refreshing to deal with someone so utterly genuine.

Finally, George Shadid was a mentor and a family man. He did a great job of grooming his successor, Senator Dave Koehler. He dearly loved Lorraine, his wife of 64 years, and was rightfully proud of his sons George Jr. and Jim, who now serves as the Chief United States District Judge for the Central District of Illinois.

Central Illinois was very fortunate to have George Shadid’s bipartisan leadership, and his legacy will continue to make a real difference in the quality of life of many for generations to come. iBi