EAST ALTON - Democrat Joe Silkwood formerly announced he will enter the 111th District state representative race on Tuesday and oppose incumbent Republican Amy Elik.

Silkwood was mayor of East Alton for six years and has had a long-term public service career.

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“I am officially entering the campaign for the 111th state representative race,” he said Tuesday. “The opportunity came up and I was interested. I had a long-term career in the public sector work and was once treasurer of East Alton. This has been my home my whole life, and the 111th district is something special to me. It is something I want to give a shot at running for.”

Silkwood has three grown children. His children are all in service work. One of his children is a teacher, one is a college baseball coach, and one a nurse.

“I am really proud of all my children,” he said. “They all want to help people and that makes a parent proud.”

Silkwood said he will offer Metro East residents a chance to cast their ballots for a proven leader with a track record of standing with law enforcement as Democratic candidate for State Representative of the 111th District, which includes Alton, East Alton, Wood River, Pontoon Beach, Glen Carbon, Roxana, South Roxana, Hartford, and parts of Maryville, Edwardsville, Granite City, Godfrey, and Bethalto.

“I’m running because we need an experienced leader that will stand with labor and oppose right-to-work legislation,” Silkwood said. “We need someone that will stand with our police officers, not someone who votes to slash the funding they need to keep us safe. As Mayor of East Alton, I participated in a ride-along with every police officer on the force, and I worked closely with leaders in law enforcement to provide support.”

“Joe Silkwood has been my friend for 40 years. I know him as a man of tremendous integrity and a strong supporter of law enforcement. I know that Joe will continue to support officers and will be a strong voice as a State Representative,” said John Lakin, Madison County Sheriff.

During his term as mayor, Silkwood worked hard to bring jobs and economic development to the region. “Mayor Silkwood was incredible to work with during the redevelopment. Under his leadership we experienced a private/public partnership that helped us redevelop the center. Without this partnership, Eastgate would not have been renovated as quickly and completely as it has been,” said Todd Kennedy, owner of Eastgate Plaza.

While promoting economic development and public/private partnerships, Silkwood was also a strong advocate for organized labor. “Joe Silkwood was raised in a union household. He values the working family and understands the value of unions. There is a lot of work to be done in District 111, and Joe is the right guy to help make it happen,” said Totsie Bailey, Executive-Secretary Treasurer of the Southwestern Illinois Building & Construction Trades Council.

Joe Silkwood Biography

Silkwood, the son of a union steelworker, was born and raised in East Alton. After playing professional baseball in the Cardinals organization, Silkwood returned to the Metro East region to dedicate his life to public service, where he served as East Alton’s Village Administrator for 16 years and Park Administrator for 9 years. Silkwood also served three years as a student advisor at Lewis & Clark Community College while coaching baseball, women’s basketball, and volleyball. Additionally, Silkwood has dedicated countless hours of community service coaching youth sports and serving in leadership positions for the River Bend East Rotary Club, Operation Blessing, and Wood River Habitat for Humanity. He is a proud father of three. All three of his children dedicated their lives to community service. Joe’s son is a former Marine and college baseball coach; his eldest daughter is a nurse; and his younger daughter is a teacher. He currently lives in East Alton.

Work Experience

Mayor, Village of East Alton 2015-2021

Treasurer, Village of East Alton 1999-2015

Director of Parks and Recreation, Village of East Alton 1997-1999

Assistant Director of Parks and Recreation, Village of East Alton 1990-1997

Asst. Baseball Coach, SIUE 1990-1997

Student Advisor Lewis and Clark Community College 1988-1990

Baseball, Women’s Basketball, Asst. Volleyball Coach 1988-1990

East Alton Parks Recreation Supervisor 1985-1988

Asst. Baseball Coach SIUE 1985-1988

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St. Louis Cardinals (Minor League Pitcher –AA level) 1982-1985

Village of East Alton Parks Department and Street Department 1972-1982

Public Service

East Alton Rotary Club 2000-Present

  • Elected President Twice
  • Paul Harris Fellow

Gallatin Awards Committee 2017-Present

  • Raised Funds to Recognize High School Athletes

Riverbend Growth Association 2015-Present

  • Ex-Officio Member of Board of Directors

Assist 14 Police Training Board 2015-2021

  • Mayor representative on the Advisory Board

East Alton – Wood River Community High School Board 2001 – 2009

East Alton Elementary School Board 1995 – 1999

Wood River Township Habitat for Humanity

  • President of this Chapter


MPA SIUE Master of Public Administration and Policy Analysis

BS SIUE Recreation Education

AS Lewis and Clark Community College

East Alton Wood River Community High School

Other Notable Accomplishments:

East Alton Wood River Community High School Alumni Hall of Fame 2019

St. Louis Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame (Player) 2017

SIUE Athletic Hall of Fame (Asst Coach) 2015

Mon-Clair League Baseball Hall of Fame (Player) 2001

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