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Rep. Leitch won’t run again

Thursday, Oct 8, 2015

* Peoria already lost its Republican Senator, now it’s about to lose its GOP House member

After nearly 30 years serving in Springfield, state Rep. David Leitch will retire at the end of his current term in 2017, he announced Thursday morning.

The Peoria Republican is the longest-serving GOP member of the state House, where he has served since 1989.

“It’s been the honor of my life to represent central Illinois for nearly three decades,” Leitch said in a prepared release. “I cannot thank the people of the 73rd District enough for the privilege of serving in the General Assembly.”

Among his accomplishments in office, he counts passing the first law requiring insurance coverage for mammograms, securing funding for the expansion of the Illinois Central College campus in East Peoria and arranging the acquisition of the ICC North campus in Peoria after the closure of Zeller Mental Health Center.

He worked to secure a $10 million loan to prevent the closure of Keystone Steel & Wire in Bartonville. After being repaid in full, the money was put into a fund for Peoria County to use for ongoing economic development.

The man is a class act, through and through. He also displayed great courage and supreme dignity during his life-threatening battle with cancer. He’s soft-spoken and effective and he’s going to be missed.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Linus - Thursday, Oct 8, 15 @ 8:32 am:

    Rep. Leitch has been a strong, dependable advocate for mental health and other human services, and it’s hard to imagine he’s any too happy watching their support crumble. He will indeed be missed.

  2. - Mio - Thursday, Oct 8, 15 @ 8:39 am:

    His dry humor, delivered in a dead-pan, gravelly voice, will be missed. Such a smart, good guy. He deserves a great retirement.

  3. - Give Me A Break - Thursday, Oct 8, 15 @ 8:42 am:

    Rich could not be more correct, David has always been a legislator who listened to both sides and made informed choices. He has not sought attention but his legislative record speaks for itself.

    He is also one of the few lawmakers who understand mental health policy and how the system works. He is highly respected by human service lobbyist. He is going to be missed.

  4. - JS Mill - Thursday, Oct 8, 15 @ 8:54 am:

    I have been to and on a couple of panels with him. Interacting with him on a personal level I really liked him.

    His stance on Common Core and New State Standards will always puzzle me, but that is the way it is sometimes. I hope he enjoys a long and happy retirement!

  5. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 8, 15 @ 8:56 am:

    Rep. Leitch is a statesman.

    I can’t really add too much to Rich’s description of how Rep. Leitch handled his business and how he has been a true leader on mental health issues while also being seen inside the Chamber as a thoughtful and knowledgeable colleague.

    There are many in the HGOP Caucus that can learn from Rep. Leitch.

    You are one of the good ones, Rep. Leitch. My respect and admiration is well-founded. You will be missed.


  6. - Ducky LaMoore - Thursday, Oct 8, 15 @ 8:58 am:

    It will be weird going to political events and not hearing, “You know, back in 1984, Governor Thompson and I…”.

  7. - Team Sleep - Thursday, Oct 8, 15 @ 9:10 am:

    It’s a shame that the House GOP is losing Ed Sullivan, Adam Brown, Dave Leitch and Mike Tryon in the same cycle.

  8. - Anonymous - Thursday, Oct 8, 15 @ 9:17 am:

    Strongly agree with your comments, Rich

  9. - steve schnorf - Thursday, Oct 8, 15 @ 9:19 am:

    One of the really good guys. What a loss to the citizens, the General Assembly, and his caucus. And we’re losing them right and left. As George Jones sang, “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes?” It’s going to take a long time for the replacements to acquire the knowledge but especially the valuable measured approach of these legislators who are leaving; Leitch, Mautino, Moffitt, on and on. God save the Republic!

  10. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Oct 8, 15 @ 9:37 am:

    So, this Republican considers his greatest accomplishments during his long three decade career in office to be those which expanded assistance to his constituency and helped them.

    He has to be disgusted with this administration and find himself about as welcomed within it as a priest on a pirate ship.

  11. - Not quite a majority - Thursday, Oct 8, 15 @ 9:47 am:

    I can not blame him a bit for taking his leave now. I wish him the best of luck.

  12. - cdog - Thursday, Oct 8, 15 @ 9:49 am:

    Impressive in many ways.

    One of the few ILLINOIS GOP politicians that can now discuss the party platform of TERM LIMITS and not appear disingenuous.

    He is walking the talk! I am sure he feels very good and herby about his decision.

  13. - charles in charge - Thursday, Oct 8, 15 @ 9:50 am:

    A huge loss for Peoria, the House GOP caucus, and the State of Illinois. It should be mentioned that he never faced a serious challenge in his district because the constituent service his office provided was so exceptional. Big shoes to fill indeed.

  14. - Wordslinger - Thursday, Oct 8, 15 @ 10:03 am:

    I don’t know the rep., but high praise indeed from many whose opinions I respect.

    If I may be so crass as to raise a political question on a political blog: What are the odds that any of the retiring GOP reps. are willing to buck the governor on tneir way out the door in order to cut the Gordian knot?

  15. - Dawn Rogy-Meyer - Thursday, Oct 8, 15 @ 10:14 am:

    This is a great loss for the people in his district. We have child care centers in his district and he has always been their for us. He has been a great role model for other reps. It will be very difficult to find a replacement for such an honorable, dedicated rep. He will be missed when his term is up.

  16. - G'Kar - Thursday, Oct 8, 15 @ 11:03 am:

    Rep. Leitch was my rep and I worked with him on a number of occasions and was always impressed. He will be missed.

    But I echo Wordslinger’s comment at 10:03. Will all of these retiring Republicans be the catalyst for finally breaking the stalemate, as they are not beholding to anyone?

  17. - Charles Wilkens - Thursday, Oct 8, 15 @ 11:25 am:

    Simply put….a class act. He represented his district well and did so much to help those that needed it. It will be difficult to find someone with his compassion to fill the seat, a truly caring gentleman.

  18. - DuPage - Thursday, Oct 8, 15 @ 11:29 am:

    Rep. Leitch reminds me of back in the day when we had moderate, effective Republicans in the statehouse, and Governors. Peoria was lucky to have him as their Rep.

  19. - Blue dog dem - Thursday, Oct 8, 15 @ 11:53 am:

    Wordslinger and G’Kar…this is, and has been Rauners only out.

  20. - Gumby - Thursday, Oct 8, 15 @ 1:40 pm:

    The whistle blows. Raunerbots charge over the top to assume control of the abandoned trench.

  21. - Bigger Fish - Thursday, Oct 8, 15 @ 2:22 pm:

    30 years is long enough — for anyone. When his local paper ran the end of year roundups on legislator’s accomplishments, he was hardly mentioned. Guess the dean doesn’t need to pass bills.

  22. - Kirk Dillard - Thursday, Oct 8, 15 @ 2:22 pm:

    One of the smartest and classiest people I ever had the honor to work with in state government. This is a BIG loss for the Peoria area and all of Illinois. I wish him well and thank him for his counsel and service throughout the years!

  23. - Bemac - Thursday, Oct 8, 15 @ 3:09 pm:

    I had the opportunity to work with him a long, long ago. A real loss to the House.

  24. - Property of IDOC - Friday, Oct 9, 15 @ 5:42 am:

    Word-if any of the retiring Reps were going to buck the line- they would have already done so. Their retirement wasn’t sprung on them, they knew they had opportunity…

  25. - SCR - Friday, Oct 9, 15 @ 7:01 am:

    A complete and total class act. Great public servant

  26. - Arthur Andersen - Friday, Oct 9, 15 @ 7:57 am:

    Rep.Leitch also “got it” on our pension problems long before many of his colleagues and was a great listener on boring, but important financial matters.

    A fine man and a true public servant.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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