* From a press release…
After careful thought and consideration I have decided to not seek re-election as Illinois State Senator for the 47th District in the 2016 election.
It is an honor to have earned the trust and support of so many people in Western Illinois and across the state. I will continue to work hard to represent and be a voice for my constituents in Springfield as I transition to the private sector.
Senator John Sullivan
Sullivan, a Democrat, represents a heavily Republican district. He told me last night that he’s not resigning before the election. The Democrats, therefore, won’t be able to put anybody into the seat to give him or her a leg up. That’s gonna be a real tough one for them to hold.
Sen. Sullivan has justly earned great respect from both sides of the aisle. He’s a class act, and that’s why his GOP voters have kept sending him back to Springfield. It’s a “Sullivan district,” not a partisan district.
He’ll be missed.
…Adding… Some decidedly unclassy spin from the IL GOP…
Senator John Sullivan, a downstate Democrat in a competitive district, announced Thursday that he is not running for re-election in 2016.
Sullivan’s announcement is an early sign that the Democrats controlled by Mike Madigan are afraid of answering to voters after their repeated failure in Springfield.
In spite of winning re-election by nearly 13 points in 2012, Sullivan bowed out of his re-election campaign less than a week after Governor Bruce Rauner visited the district and challenged voters to hold Sullivan accountable for standing with Mike Madigan. In the November election, Governor Bruce Rauner won the district by more than 36 points.
As the 30-year House Speaker and Chairman of the Democratic Party, Mike Madigan has held a firm grip on Democrats in Springfield and has enforced loyalty at all costs. Sullivan knows that if he were to run for re-election, he would not be able to distance himself from Mike Madigan.
For the Democrat legislators who continue to stand against reform to business-as-usual in Springfield, Mike Madigan’s name will be next to theirs on the ballot in November 2016.
Sullivan has won every election since 2002 by wide margins. Sen. Sullivan won a close race in 2002, beating incumbent Sen. Laura Kent Donahue by 3 points (51.5% - 48.5%), but he has coasted to victory in every election since. (Illinois Board of Elections, Accessed 6/18/2015)
2004: Sen. Sullivan (D) beat Republican Tom Ernst by 24 points (61.8% - 38.2%).
2008: Sen. Sullivan (D) won re-election unopposed.
2012: Sen. Sullivan (D) beat Republican Randy Frese by nearly 13 points (56.4% - 43.6%).
Just three weeks ago, Sullivan blindly supported his Democrat party boss Mike Madigan by voting for a budget that was unbalanced by more than $3 billion. “House Democrats worked into the evening Tuesday to push through major parts of a new budget they acknowledge is at least $3 billion short in an effort to force new Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner to eventually go along with a tax increase to fill the deficit.” (Monique Garcia and Kim Geiger,
“Illinois Democrats Push Ahead With Budget That’s $3 Billion Short,” Chicago Tribune, 5/26/2015)
Sullivan voted to pass Madigan’s unbalanced FY2016 budget bill. (Illinois General Assembly Records, Accessed 6/18/2015)
Sullivan has taken $1,037,820 from Democrat Party committees controlled by Mike Madigan. (Illinois Board of Elections, Accessed 6/18/2015)
Last week, Governor Bruce Rauner visited Sullivan’s district and challenged voters to hold Sullivan accountable for standing with Mike Madigan. “[Gov. Bruce Rauner] said he wants people to get in touch with their representatives and ask them: “Are you for taxpayers or the Chicago political machine?”‘” (WGEM, “Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner Challenges Voters To Pressure Lawmakers,” WGEM.com, 6/11/2015)
Governor Bruce Rauner won Sullivan’s district by 36 points (65% - 29%) in the November 2014 election. The rural Western Illinois district covers all or part of 11 counties, including Adams, Brown, Cass, Fulton, Hancock, Henderson, Knox, Mason, McDonough, Schuyler and Warren. Governor Rauner won the district by 36 points and the most populous county in the district by 56 points (Adams, 76.4% - 19.3%). (Illinois Board of Elections, Accessed 6/18/2015)
“Plain and simple: Sen. John Sullivan is running from Mike Madigan. After voting for a budget that was unbalanced by $4 billion and accepting over $1 million from Madigan’s Democrat Party over the years, John Sullivan knows that he can’t justify his actions to his constituents. In the past, Democrats have voted with Madigan in Springfield and then distanced themselves to voters at home. But now, Governor Rauner is not letting Democrats like Sullivan get away with it. Countless Democrats represent districts throughout the state where Madigan is loathed by voters. By November 2016, these voters will know that a vote for a Democrat in the state legislature is a vote for the failed status quo controlled by Mike Madigan,” said Nick Klitzing, Executive Director of the Illinois Republican Party.