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Senate Majority Leader Clayborne to retire

Thursday, Sep 21, 2017

* The word’s been going around all day that Sen. James Clayborne (D-Belleville) would announce his retirement today. He just now called me back to confirm. He was up for reelection next year.

“I’ve been doing this for 22 and a half years,” Clayborne said when I asked him why he was leaving at the end of this term. Plus, he said, the next term would be for four years. “I never planned on being here 28 years.”

He said it was simply time to “step aside and allow someone to come in.”

“I’ve made a lot of progress and benefited my district and it’s time to move on to the next chapter in my life,” he said.

Asked whether he had a replacement in mind, Clayborne denied it, saying he’s “working to help the party find someone.” But I’m told he may indeed have a preferred candidate.

* Press release

“I want to thank my constituents over the years for allowing me to serve them in Springfield. In collaboration with my constituents we have worked together to improve the quality of life in the 57th Senatorial District by increasing education funding, building new schools and improving access to technology in the classroom.

“Additionally, we have worked together to provide greater resources through grants to our local police and fire departments to improve public safety. Our hard work has led to an improved transportation system and increased economic opportunities for all.

“I have decided that I will not be seeking re-election next year. I am going to focus on my family and my life out of public service. I look forward to this new chapter in my life and would once again like to thank the people of the 57th District for allowing me to be their voice in Springfield.”

Clayborne has represented the 57th Legislative District since 1995. The district is located primarily in St. Clair County, while also containing parts of Madison County.

Clayborne has also served as the Senate Majority Leader, the second highest ranking member of the Senate, since 2009.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

11 Comments
  1. - Anon414 - Thursday, Sep 21, 17 @ 4:18 pm:

    A good guy who will be missed. Almost pulled off the senate prez race with a downstate/African-American alliance when Emil stepped down.

    But he gave Senate Dems a real scare four years ago. He didn’t really campaign at all and the race was much closer than anyone thought it would be.


  2. - BlackBeard - Thursday, Sep 21, 17 @ 4:24 pm:

    Who will the next majority leader be?


  3. - Wiiftbp - Thursday, Sep 21, 17 @ 4:33 pm:

    Typically when an elected official retires, especially one that has been around for so long, you include some personalized commentary praising that individuals strengths, whatever they may be. Why not in this case?


  4. - illini - Thursday, Sep 21, 17 @ 4:35 pm:

    First Haine and now Clayborne.

    The Metro East is losing some heavy hitters, but I understand that there always comes a time to pass the seat to a worthy successor.


  5. - Dirty Red - Thursday, Sep 21, 17 @ 4:39 pm:

    The way that district has changed in the last 10 years he probably would’ve had another battle to keep the seat. Haine and Clayborne…that’s a lot of M-e institutional knowledge leaving the chamber.


  6. - the Cardinal - Thursday, Sep 21, 17 @ 4:49 pm:

    To bad good guy with a staedy hand his common sense will be missed.


  7. - Happy Girl 91 - Thursday, Sep 21, 17 @ 7:40 pm:

    How likely is it that either Jay Hoffman or Jerry Costello Jr might move on up to the senate? Not that I’m a big fan of either of them. (Ever get the feeling that the Costello tribe control too much in St. Clair County? Yeah, me too.)


  8. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 21, 17 @ 7:45 pm:

    More institutional knowledge walking away.

    The chambers will not be the same when so much of the history and those who know it leaves in this swoop.


  9. - My thoughts - Thursday, Sep 21, 17 @ 8:25 pm:

    It’s an issue to the extent that maybe Clayborne and other leaders who are leaving have become stale; maybe the people around them have lost the level of interest that’s really important for efficient government.


  10. - Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 21, 17 @ 9:44 pm:

    How many years in the GA does it take for a legislator to max out on their pension?


  11. - How's it - Friday, Sep 22, 17 @ 8:24 am:

    More politicians retiring. All due to the “toxic atmosphere,” no doubt. Keep it coming.

    The Illinois swamp…is draining itself.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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