SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (NEXSTAR) — Dr. Stacy Bennett has had a unique perspective on Illinois politics.
Her doctorate in education policy and leadership, along with a background in policymaking gives her a better understanding of the issues than most. But she also got to hear all of the behind the scenes drama, confusion, and stories from her late husband.
“He would be frustrated, obviously, when people were, you know, just staying in their lanes,” Bennett said.
The now-Senator Stacy Bennett (D-Champaign) will only serve for another week. She had only one word to describe her experience as she sat in her husband’s office.
“It’s still very surreal.”
Scott Bennett’s sudden death in early December rocked the legislature. Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle used the same words to describe him, saying he was funny, kind and always tried to bridge the ever widening gap in politics. Hearing such a consistent message about Scott was reassuring to Stacy.
“Often, when you’re in a position like him, and he tried to work with both sides, sometimes both sides are mad at him, because both of them are giving up something,” Stacy said. “And so it was nice to hear that people did appreciate that and did recognize that.”
She’s been trying to stay out of the spotlight, but she did give some insight into the conversations she had with her late husband this Fall. He was finishing up one of the more controversial negotiations of his career: amending the SAFE-T Act. She says those long nights led him to think about hanging it up after his next term.
“I don’t know if he personally was ready to leave,” Stacy said. I think he still hadn’t had many ideas of things he would like to do. But it was more about our kids.”