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*** UPDATED x4 *** Rep. Mark Beaubien

Sunday, Jun 5, 2011

* I’ve been waiting for an official statement since the afternoon, but I’ll go ahead and post it now. This is a major loss for Illinois

State Rep. Mark Beaubien Jr., a moderate Republican who represented the Barrington area in Springfield since 1996, died Sunday, fellow state lawmakers and local GOP leaders confirmed.

Beaubien, 68, of Barrington Hills, collapsed Sunday afternoon while attending a House Republican fundraiser at Arlington Park racetrack. Efforts to revive him were unsuccessful. […]

Colleagues in the state House said Beaubien had been battling a severe case of pneumonia in recent weeks that had kept him out of the State Capitol for most of the just ended legislative session. However, he appeared in Springfield late last month for the final days of the term.

Beaubien is survived by his wife, Dee, two children and three grandchildren, according to his state House biography.

*** UPDATE 1 *** From the House Republicans…

Rep. Mark Beaubien’s family asked me to send this out to you tonight on their behalf.

“State Representative Mark Beaubien died suddenly late this afternoon. He was at a House Republican event with family, friends and colleagues. Arrangements are pending. We will miss him dearly.”

-Rep. Beaubien’s family

The Beaubien family is asking for privacy during this very difficult time.

House Republican Leader Tom Cross:

“I am deeply saddened by the death of my close friend and colleague, Rep. Mark Beaubien. My thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Dee, his children, grandchildren and many friends around the state. He is loved around the capitol for his brilliance, attention to detail, and ability to work with all legislators on very important issues facing our state. I will miss Mark deeply.”

*** UPDATE 2 *** From Gov. Pat Quinn…

“Mark Beaubien dedicated his life to service and making his community a better place. As a state representative, he served the people of the 52nd District with integrity and fortitude, and his sudden passing is a tremendous loss.

“My thoughts and prayers go out to Mark’s wife Dee and their two sons on this sad day.”

*** UPDATE 3 *** Tribune

He had hailed the passage of the House-driven spending plan by both majority Democrats and his fellow Republicans, calling it a “balanced budget that was built around conservative principles.”

Beaubien voted against the 67 percent increase in the state income tax rate that Democrats backed in January. But while Democrats have focused on the notion that most of the tax would expire in four years, Beaubien said in recent weeks he doubted the full tax hike would ever go away.

A former Lake County Board member, Beaubien, an attorney, formerly was a top official at the Suburban Bank of Barrington.

Beaubien is the descendant of an early pioneer named Mark Beaubien, in whose Sauganash Hotel the town of Chicago was incorporated in 1833.

*** UPDATE 4 *** Sun-Times

Beaubien was the great, great, great grandson of Mark Beaubien, who came to what is now Chicago in 1826 and opened the region’s first tavern, the Sauganash. When the city’s residents decided to incorporate in 1833, they voted to do so at the Sauganash, which was near the modern-day intersection of Lake and Wacker.

Profiled by the Chicago Sun-Times in 2004 as a living link to Chicago’s earliest days, Beaubien was humble about his family history when asked if it made him proud.

“Proud? No, not proud, really. It’s a little historically interesting, that’s all,” he said. “Every generation has to live and survive on its own. I don’t like guys who go around saying, ‘I’m a Rockefeller, I’m a Kennedy.’ “

For many years, Beaubien was the House Republican point person on budget matters, which was a perfect fit given his experience as a former banker. He was a fiscal conservative, voting with fellow Republicans against Quinn’s 67-percent income tax hike in January.

But his social views were far more moderate, sometimes putting him at loggerheads with the conservative flank of the GOP.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

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