CHARLESTON -- State Rep. Reggie Phillips, R-Charleston, will not be running for a third term.
Phillips said he will be sticking to his two terms as he has said he would despite interest, lately, to go for a third.
“I am split right down the middle,” he said.
There were things he thought he could get done in a third term, however, the 64-year-old representative said it came down to spending more time and energy on his family and his business. He wants to focus more time on those aspects of his life, he said.
Phillips specifically mentioned his wife, Martha, of more than 40 years as a main reason for the decision. In the past four years, he hasn't been able to spend enough quality time with Martha, he said.
“My family (and) my business needs me,” he said.
He also cited the exhaustion of working in the “political theater” as a reason for the decision not to run. Phillips said it has been frustrating working in such a polarized political landscape.
Phillips denied that his decision had anything to do with the recent vote on the state budget that led to a controversial tax hike. He is confident he would’ve gotten a third term had he run.
Phillips still stands firmly behind his vote. He said he believes he has explained his reasoning to those in the 110th District and that most understand, even if they don't agree.
“It was a ridiculous fight,” Phillips said, looking back on the budget stalemate. “It was just detrimental (voting against the budget measures).”
It is time to wrap up his work in Springfield, Phillips stated.
“I think I should get on my horse and ride off into the sunset,” he said.
The state representative still has a year and a half left as a state lawmaker. In that time, his focuses will be set on making way for a coal-burning plant in Mattoon and supporting Republican-held views like term limits, he said.
“The biggest votes are coming,” he said.
Phillips’ decision leaves Chris Miller, an Oakland farmer, as the lone candidate interested in the seat. Jeremy Yost, chief executive officer of Yost Enterprises and Yost Management Services, Inc., ended his campaign to run last week, citing family as his reason.
Phillips mentioned that he has only met Miller one time but thinks Miller would to do a great job serving the district. However, Phillips added he would like to see more candidates, specifically young candidates, throwing their hats into the ring to bring in fresh ideas for the position.
No matter what happens with the election, once his term is up, Phillips said it will be “time to turn the baton to the next guy.”