* From a press release…
State Senator Kirk W. Dillard stepped down from his seat as state Senator for the 24th District, ending a prolific legislative career.
Dillard will begin work immediately as Chairman of the Regional Transportation Authority, which oversees the nation’s second largest mass transit system, over 2 million riders daily.
“It has been a true privilege to serve the people of the 24th District,” said Dillard. “It has been a tremendous honor to work side by side so many great people in my district serving them to make our communities better places to live and work.”
Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) adds, “Sen. Dillard is a respected legislator in the Capitol, a statesman recognized by both chambers and both parties. We will truly miss his experience.”
“I began my career as an intern right out of Western Illinois University in 1977 on the Senate Republican staff and then attended law school at DePaul while living in my parents house and taking Metra to school daily,” said Dillard.
“I was called to public service at a young age,” he said. Dillard served with distinction as Chief of Staff for Gov. Jim Edgar (from 1990 to 1993) and as a Legislative Director for former Gov. Jim Thompson (from 1983 to 1987). He was a Judge on the Court of Claims from February 1987 to December 1990.
“I’ve greatly enjoyed my work as a lawmaker.” Dillard said. “I respected the process and worked hard to honor the wishes of those who elected me and sent me to the General Assembly to work humbly on their behalf. I’ve worked with many outstanding lawmakers and community leaders over the years and I am grateful for the opportunity to have served the state of Illinois.”
“Among my accomplishments legislatively, I’m very proud to have sponsored a bill to create the Amber Missing Child Alert System here in Illinois,” said Dillard. And we bolstered public access to Internet information about sexual predators, said Dillard, who was first elected to the Senate in 1995.
“I am proud to have worked in a bipartisan fashion, without ever giving up my Republican principles of less government, lower taxes and individual liberties.”
The rest is here.
I know that many of y’all had some hard feelings about Sen. Dillard during the primary campaign. I did, too, and I gave Dillard a piece of my mind. But he’s leaving the Senate after a long and pretty darned distinguished career, so…
* The Question: Your thoughts on Dillard’s retirement? And be kind, please.
* I’ll start: Too many legislators will look for a way to disagree with their colleagues. Dillard built a reputation for trying to find a way to agree with a colleague in order to make a bill better. I admired that in him.
He also listened, even if he totally disagreed with you. He heard you out.
*** UPDATE *** From Bruce Rauner…
“Senator Dillard has devoted years to public service on behalf of the people of the state of Illinois. His constituents were fortunate to have him working on their behalf in Springfield. The Regional Transportation Authority is gaining a wonderful leader who’s knowledge and experience will bring value as chairman. I wish him all the best in his new endeavor.”