About Eli

  • Husband & Father of 4
  • Member of Holy Family Church (Rkfd, IL)
  • Winnebago Co. Republican Party Chairman

Community & Volunteer

  • Family Peace Center Community Board (2018 – present)
  • Literacy Council (2006 – present)
  • Next Rockford (2006 – present)
  • Jeremiah Development / Love Rockford (2016 – present)
  • Empowering Word Christian Church (2014-present)
  • Greater Rockford Italian American
    Association (2016-present)
  • Rockford Rescue Mission (2010-2015)


  • Awarded Winnebago County Republican of the Year for 2017-18
  • Illinois Senate Certificate of Recognition (2018)
  • Lowered county taxes last year by 1.25% – Rockford Register Star – 4/27/17
  • Supported Public Safety – Voted against cuts to the and will oppose any further reductions to public safety
  • Appointed Chairman of the Government Affairs & Strategic Planning Committee

Most of us don’t have perfect lives.

Most of us come from humble backgrounds, with little to no help coming our way when we were younger and struggling to make it in this world without a net underneath.

 Eli Nicolosi

But what many people like Eli Nicolosi do have is the support and love they needed as children so that their faith could stay strong despite all odds stacked against them.  Values such as hard work, integrity, and devotion towards God are handed down generation by generation because there’s something about growing up in Illinois that just makes these old-fashioned midwestern ideas thrive more than anywhere else on earth!

And then you meet someone like Eli who has taken those teachings to heart…

Eli’s roots are the new Illinois 35th District.

His father’s side came over from Sicily, Italy in the early 1900s, setting roots in Rockford, Illinois as hard-working immigrants, eventually rising to public service as attorneys, judges, and owning successful businesses.  

His mother’s side of the family hailed from LaSalle County – Streator to be exact.  Eli’s grandfather Eli (to whom he was named after) was able to provide a good living to his family as a proud union bricklayer his entire life.

Born in Ottawa, Eli’s parents raised him, his older brother, and two sisters with those values in a variety of towns around Illinois, eventually settling to Mendota – a hard-working farming town that made him the man he is today. Since he was a small child, family and friends quickly noticed Eli’s talent as an artist and in Mendota, this God-given talent only grew. Attending Northbrook Middle School, his art teacher, Mr. Reed Rydberg, taught Eli that art could be more than just creating things – it was life – and it could be a livelihood.  Mr. Rydberg passed away in the late ’90s before Eli could thank him for his wonderful mentorship. To honor his memory, he planned a career in the arts, knowing the same hard work his family had instilled in him would be needed to make it.

That hard work took Eli from Mendota to The School of Visual Arts in New York City, to Rock Valley College in Rockford, to eventually Columbia College in Chicago. At Columbia,  Eli graduated at the top of his class in 2001 while working at United Parcel Service to pay for his tuition.  After landing a starting position at a prestigious marketing agency in the Loop, he was all set to start the next chapter of his life.  His start date was set for Tuesday, September 11th – a day of infamy many of us will not soon forget.

Sure enough, after the attacks of September 11th, the agency that was hiring Eli froze all hiring… In fact, no one was hiring. 

Eli realized that he had to make his own way. 

He knew that the key to his success would be where his family was – back in Rockford.  Undeterred, Eli kept working hard. He took odd jobs. He offered freelance artwork for local small businesses. He spent time talking to business owners, learning the ropes on how to build a business in a tough place like Illinois. He also spent his free time learning new skills as time went on in web design, social media, and other digital marketing.  In 2001, Eli started his company, Astute Web Group, with just a few clients.  Over a few years – and with plenty of word-of-mouth referrals – it quickly grew into a success – eventually causing Eli to hire several employees and buying an office on the east side of Rockford.

Eli had managed to beat the odds through smarts and sheer determination. So many times, life doesn’t work out the way we plan, but when we meet the challenges we face head-on with hard work, integrity, and faith, we often come out stronger. 

Grateful for the life he was given and the community where he was able to raise a family with 4 wonderful children, Eli parlayed his business relationships to give back. Eventually, politics came knocking on his door as he served on the Winnebago County Board from 2014-2018 and then went on to become the Chairman of the Republican Party in Winnebago County in 2020.

Since Eli’s days in Mendota, the state of Illinois has only become a tougher place to run a business and raise a family. Our once-great state is broken and it’s time for the career politicians to step aside so a new generation can rise to meet the challenge and make Illinois a great state for working families again. 

Eli has spent his career fighting for change in Illinois and will continue to in Springfield. He’s never been afraid of a fight or an uphill battle, no matter how tough the challenge seems at first glance. He’s got the energy you need to represent you, but also the experience behind him, working on many local and municipal issues like roads, schools, and jobs.  His record of getting things done will stand out against the rest of Springfield’s life-long politicians who are stalling progress just to keep a job.

It’s time Springfield has fresh ideas from the next generation and to break free from decades-old politics. 

It’s time to elect Eli Nicolosi for Illinois Senate!



Photo Gallery