Meet State Rep. Avery Bourne (R-Pawnee), who's 22 and, as far as anyone here can determine, the youngest person to be a state lawmaker in Illinois. She is in the middle of her first year of law school at Washington University in St. Louis but is on leave to serve her district, just south of Springfield, full-time. She has not decided whether to run for a full term in 2016, thus facing her voters rather than four Republican county chairmen.

“Agriculture is something that I'm really passionate about,” she says. “My family has been farming in the district for over three generations.”

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Bourne's taking a leave from law school. Her experience includes being a campaign volunteer. She knows it'll be work to earn the trust of those she represents.

“I've been there in the district, and I know the voters, and I've advocated for them, and I've been there on their doorstep,” Bourne says.“I think that I can be their mouthpiece in Springfield, and I look forward to earning their trust and advocating on their behalf.”

She succeeds Wayne Rosenthal, who left the legislature right after being sworn in in January and now is director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

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