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Chief of staff, three House Republicans move on

Tuesday, Sep 8, 2015

* Erickson

A Republican state lawmaker from Champaign said Friday he will not seek re-election in 2016.

State Rep. Adam Brown said he is taking on more of a leadership role in his family’s 1,000-acre farming operation and needs to step down from the 102nd district post he’s held since 2010.

“My plate has been beyond full for some time,” said Brown, 30, who recently announced the birth of his second child.

His pending departure, first reported by Capitolfax.com, is the latest in a line of Republican lawmakers who have announced they are not running again. Others include state Sen. Dave Luechtefeld of Okawville and state Reps. Mike Tryon of Crystal Lake and Ed Sullivan of Mundelein.

* Bernie

House GOP Leader JIM DURKIN of Western Springs had great things to say about his outgoing chief of staff and the person who will replace him.

Chief of staff SCOTT REIMERS of Springfield, who turns 44 this weekend and makes $140,000 annually, will go into lobbying. ANDREW FREIHEIT, 44, of Wheaton, who now makes $130,000 annually as chief legal counsel and ethics officer for the caucus, will become chief of staff. Durkin said in a prepared statement that he expects a smooth transition and that Reimers will stay on staff through the end of September.

Durkin called Reimers “one of the hardest-working people I know” and “a devoted public servant and an important member of my team.”

Reimers said Durkin will “forever be a good friend,” but he also said that after 21 years with the General Assembly “and missing too many of my children’s games and activities, I felt it was time for me to start a new challenge.” He and his wife, LORI, have two children.

So, we’ve got three retiring House Republicans plus the chief of staff.

A pattern?

I dunno.

* I’ve talked to all of the retiring legislators at some length and the only pattern I’ve found is that they want to get on with their lives. A couple of them also had some health issues. Plus, Reimers was the chief under Durkin’s predecessor, so many figured he’d eventually be moving along.

And “Coach” never moved into his new district, so that retirement has been expected for quite some time.

* Don’t get me wrong, this session isn’t going as planned for the Republicans, who initially rejoiced at finally having a governor to backstop them, then ended up being being even more tightly controlled than their ’shroomy colleagues across the aisle.

So, I don’t doubt that the governor has something to do with all this. But I wouldn’t ever say that it is the reason.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

29 Comments
  1. - bored now - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 1:09 pm:

    shadow of blagojevich’s reign?


  2. - DuPage Don - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 1:15 pm:

    Bored now - oh, yes, I see the similarities. They are both males from Northeastern Illinois who were elected governor. Scintillating observation!


  3. - chi - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 1:17 pm:

    The climate for GOP-leaning lobbyists is better today than it has been since pre-Blago days. This obviously doesn’t explain all, or even most, of them though.


  4. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 1:17 pm:

    Congratulations to Scott! He’s been a rock for the House Republicans and you cannot find a nicer person who never let success go to his head. He’s talked about spending more time with his kids and i’m happy for him.


  5. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 1:20 pm:

    Anyone who had hoped for a Republican governor as competent as what Illinois has had in the past, and as compassionate, has to be extremely disappointed with Bruce Rauner.

    He might not be the reason for this departures, but he certainly has set the atmosphere for it. I don’t know of any GOP official who is as willing to win at any cost as badly as Bruce Rauner has shown he is willing. Anyone professional, knowledgeable, or competent has to be looking at Rauner and repeatedly slapping their foreheads in shock and disgust.


  6. - Curious Georgina - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 1:20 pm:

    I used to work with both Reimers and Freiheit on House GOP staff in the 1990s. Both are top notch, great people. Best of luck to both.


  7. - thunderspirit - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 1:21 pm:

    I don’t see anything that indicates Governor Rauner is the reason here, nor anything to suggest a larger trend is coming.

    Senator Luechtefeld is 74. I suspect I wouldn’t want to move at that point in my life either.

    Rep. Tryon and I have rarely agreed on much, but kudos for him sticking to his principles and not running past his own views on term limits.

    I don’t know much about Rep. Sullivan or Rep. Brown.


  8. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 1:28 pm:

    === This obviously doesn’t explain all, or even most===

    Four out of five ain’t bad. lol


  9. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 1:29 pm:

    If these guys all retired from toss-up districts, then I’d be worried. But now? Not really. All four of those districts are solidly Republican. As noted in another one of my posts, Schimpf can certainly keep the 58th.

    Sullivan is the one I’ll miss the most. I think he could’ve eventually overtaken Durkin as caucus Leader. Too bad.

    As for staff, I learned a long time ago that some people move on and some don’t. And some we wish would move on don’t and some won’t want to leave do. It’s just the nature of the beast and family/financial considerations matter.

    I do have to say, though, that some people I know who are lobbyists seem to work more during session now than when they were on staff. Food for thought. It ain’t always about the “time”.


  10. - pool boy - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 1:39 pm:

    I had a sandwich for lunch. I think it was the Govs fault.


  11. - Michelle Flaherty - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 1:39 pm:

    See, Durkin really is becoming Lee Daniels.


  12. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 1:44 pm:

    ==Chief of staff SCOTT REIMERS of Springfield, who turns 44 this weekend and makes $140,000 annually, will go into lobbying==

    The Springfield Shakeup Tour continues!


  13. - bored now - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 1:49 pm:

    @DuPage Don, i was really thinking about their unpredictability as well as the prospect of year-round session to factor. not everyone wants to spend everyday in springfield!

    but, sure, you’ve identified some similarities…


  14. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 1:49 pm:

    Reimers worked his way up, earning high praise at every rung of the ladder.

    I wish him well, one of the good ones, he’ll be missed.


  15. - T.T. - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 1:52 pm:

    No surprise. It just ain’t as fun to be a GA member as it was 10 or 20 years ago.

    There are virtually no capital dollars to pass around anymore; Thanks to the pension mess, lot’s of tough votes to take and the Tier 2 limitations make being a GA member less financially attractive; The Chicago media seem to pay more attention to Springfield, and it’s always negative; Rutan and Shakman make it nearly impossible to land patronage jobs for friends; The end of the centrist Thompson/Edgar/Ryan years has made things more partisan than they used to be. And now, thanks to Rauner, summer overtime sessions seem like they’re going to be the norm the next three years and not to mention, raising campaign cash is more important than ever.

    It used to be if you mentioned the word “Springfield” to an average Illinoisan, the first thing that came to their mind was Abraham Lincoln. Now, the word is almost pejorative…like saying “Washington, DC”. It conjures images of indicted governors and entrenched legislators.

    There’s a reason why more than a third of the House has turned over in five years.


  16. - LIberty - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 1:56 pm:

    More to come…


  17. - Wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 2:44 pm:

    Meh, would you want to sell out like Ron Samdack just to keep big, bad, Dan Proft and the Cheesehead Bubble Wrap King off your back?


  18. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 2:47 pm:

    How about commending those elected Reps who don’t say in office their entire lives? See Madigan/Cullerton and what can happen.


  19. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 3:21 pm:

    ==See Madigan/Cullerton and what can happen.==

    You can always count on at least one goofy Madigan comment, no matter the topic.


  20. - chad - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 3:27 pm:

    Congratulations Andy. Those who have not had the pleasure of working with him on caucus legal matters will be very pleased. He is in the Reimers mold — informed and low key. Just what this evolving caucus needs.


  21. - walker - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 3:30 pm:

    Boy, what we need are term limits because there’s so little turnover!

    /snark


  22. - filmmaker Professor - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 4:00 pm:

    I thought everything was Madigan’s fault. Get back to the script people.


  23. - Just Me - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 4:04 pm:

    If more people like Scott Reimers were running state government we wouldn’t be in such horrible condition.


  24. - Anon2U - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 4:43 pm:

    I do expect a bit of a wave of Dem’s not running either. Health, family, Rauner, etc are all worthy reasons…


  25. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 5:31 pm:

    Word on the street is that as many as three other House Republicans want to leave.


  26. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 5:35 pm:

    BTW, not good news for Rauner. Nobody getting ready to walk out the door and lobby wants to vote for a tax hike. It pretty much cuts your client list in half.


  27. - cdog - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 6:24 pm:

    Three leaving and rumors of three more….
    It seems there is definitely an opportunity here.

    Maybe compromising and uncontrolled Dems can identify a few subjects that these possible “former Raunerbots” might be willing to break from the Citizens for Rauner curse!


  28. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 8:19 pm:

    Cdog:

    I doubt it, but it creates headaches for Durkin. Rauner will replace him with Avery Bourne in a minute if he could.


  29. - T time - Wednesday, Sep 9, 15 @ 5:09 am:

    Does Reimer’s abrupt exit after DURKIN’s absence in Springpatch signal problems with Durkin’s future as a legislator?

    Is another scandal brewing pointing to Durkin?


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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