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Rep. Reggie Phillips is the latest to retire

Friday, Sep 22, 2017 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Not unexpected

State Rep. Reggie Phillips, R-Charleston, will not be running for a third term.

Phillips said he will be sticking to his two terms as he said he would despite interest later on to go for a third. The 64-year-old representative is ready to put more time and energy into his family, he said Thursday.

Chris Miller, an Oakland farmer, is currently the only person still interested in taking up the mantle for the 110th State District. Republican candidate Jeremy Yost of Charleston ended his campaign to run last week.

I think it may have been his vote for the tax hike that surprised me the most. I mean, the guy just didn’t fit the profile. But he just went ahead and did it and then he voted for the veto override despite enormous pressure.

* More

Phillips denied that his decision had anything to do with the recent vote on the state budget that led to a controversial tax hike. He is confident he would’ve gotten a third term had he run.

Phillips still stands firmly behind his vote. He said he believes he has explained his reasoning to those in the 110th District and that most understand, even if they don’t agree.

“It was a ridiculous fight,” Phillips said, looking back on the budget stalemate. “It was just detrimental (voting against the budget measures).”

It is time to wrap up his work in Springfield, Phillips stated.

“I think I should get on my horse and ride off into the sunset,” he said.

* Related…

* Oakland man to seek Republican nod for state House seat


  1. - Fax Machine - Friday, Sep 22, 17 @ 9:28 am:

    That makes it 6 of the 10 GOP overriders retiring.

  2. - Anonymous - Friday, Sep 22, 17 @ 9:32 am:

    Reggie won’t be missed.

  3. - Retired Educator - Friday, Sep 22, 17 @ 9:34 am:

    He voted to get a budget, and that was a good thing. He had however sided with Rauner on every vote prior to the tax and budget. Some of those votes really hurt EIU and the Charleston area. Mediocre at the beginning, bad in the middle, good at the end. He is right it is time to move on.

  4. - MSIX - Friday, Sep 22, 17 @ 9:35 am:

    =Reggie won’t be missed.=

    I wouldn’t be so sure. Things can always get worse.

  5. - Pot calling kettle - Friday, Sep 22, 17 @ 9:44 am:

    The Republicans who voted for the budget this summer were representing the interests of their districts. Most notably, those who represented state universities. Now, those Republicans are choosing to step aside. If the voters in those “higher ed” districts have learned a lesson, they will look very closely at the candidates for those open seats and ask: “Will you support the biggest economic driver in the district or will you push for its decline?” The danger is that they will ask few questions and answer instead to the pied-piper promise of lower taxes, ignoring the implications.

  6. - morningstar - Friday, Sep 22, 17 @ 9:46 am:

    Though I did not agree with Rep. Phillips’s approach and some of his tactics, I think he learned while in office. I respect him for making the decision to vote for the override of the Governor’s veto of the budget. He overestimated his ability to make things happen in Springfield. I would welcome a more open-minded and consensus-building candidate for this district, but given the demographics of the constituency, I am not optimistic.

  7. - anon2 - Friday, Sep 22, 17 @ 9:48 am:

    Now he can vote his conscience and his district for the remainder of his term.

  8. - Because I said so.... - Friday, Sep 22, 17 @ 9:49 am:

    Couldn’t have bee said better. =Mediocre at the beginning, bad in the middle, good at the end. He is right it is time to move on.=

    Phillips finally flipped when he got a sweet deal for EIU. Had he been supporting EIU all along, perhaps they wouldn’t have faced all the challenges they did.

  9. - Oh Boy - Friday, Sep 22, 17 @ 9:50 am:

    It’s been refreshing to see some politicians taking votes in the best interests of their districts and the state that are not in the best interests of their own political careers.

    Very refreshing.

    Illinois has a fighting chance if this keeps happening - on both sides of the aisle.

  10. - City Zen - Friday, Sep 22, 17 @ 9:50 am:

    IIRC, he turned down a pension.

  11. - 47th Ward - Friday, Sep 22, 17 @ 9:52 am:

    The Governor put him in a terrible spot, forcing him to choose between doing what was best for his district or standing with the Governor. He stuck by the Governor longer than most people would have, and I bet he didn’t get so much as an “atta boy” from Rauner.

    In the end, he did the right thing for his district, which turned out to be a bad thing for his political future. The idea of facing a primary challenge to return to an utterly thankless job was probably more than he could stand. I don’t blame him and I wish him well.

  12. - illini - Friday, Sep 22, 17 @ 9:52 am:

    Yet Bryant has announced that she will seek reelection. Has she really supported SIU the economic engine of her district? I guess the voters will decide.

  13. - ChucktownLib - Friday, Sep 22, 17 @ 10:01 am:

    I don’t know. Yes, he took longer than most of us would have liked to come to grips with the damage being caused his district by the budget impasse (most notably by starving Eastern), but he really sincerely believes in less intrusive government. Also, he showed independence on social issues that might surprise some. He voted to allow Dreamers to access institutional financial aid at state universities and he voted to stop asking applicants to universities about their criminal records because he believed if people had served their time that they deserved a legitimate second chance. His district is tea party right outside of Charleston. He knew he was likely ending his political career when he voted for the budget/tax and he knew his vote for the override was the nail in the coffin. And he still did it because he knew what further devastation was just around the corner if the impasse continued. Thank you for maintaining perspective and realizing the fallout from the impasse was more important than your political career. Thank you for taking a vote that you knew would anger most of your friends and neighbors and still would not convince your opponents/enemies. Thank you, Representative. God speed.

  14. - Deft Wing - Friday, Sep 22, 17 @ 10:03 am:

    Only folks here think the Republican capitulators & tax-raisers “voted their district” and did the right thing. Reggie had a University in his district?! Oh my, … he also had lots of taxpayers too and they’re spitting mad at him. He would have been unseated by those voting taxpayers and he knew it– so he did what most of the 15 GOP tax-raisers are doing … quitting before being fired.

  15. - wordslinger - Friday, Sep 22, 17 @ 10:04 am:

    The retiring legislators in the House have the opportunity to set the agenda and be the final word next session if they play their cards right.

  16. - Greatplainser - Friday, Sep 22, 17 @ 10:05 am:

    Given Reggie’s business interests in the Charleston area I would not assume that his vote for override to keep EIU alive was a big change of heart. It was at least partly driven by his personal interests. No students…no need for off campus student housing. I will second an earlier comment as well, it can get worse. I think Reggie, like many just got frustrated from the start by the inability of Reps to meaningfully reform state gov’t and move the ball. Doesn’t matter whether your left or right that is a real downer.

  17. - A modest proposal - Friday, Sep 22, 17 @ 10:07 am:

    Where’s the latest white sheet of all the retirements?

  18. - EIU Grad - Friday, Sep 22, 17 @ 10:14 am:

    Another RINO bites the dust

  19. - Rod - Friday, Sep 22, 17 @ 10:18 am:

    Rep Phillips knows he voted for a budget that will not be fully funded, I sure he agrees with the Governor on that. I also suspect he does not believe Illinois can cut its way out of the situation it is in and it will require higher taxes. A good idea to ride off in to the sunset before that.

  20. - Anon221 - Friday, Sep 22, 17 @ 10:32 am:

    In the veto session, it will be interesting if the Braves will continue to represent the State of Illinois and their constituents. Rauner can’t yank them around with promises of money and threats of primaries. I hope Reggie continues to be Brave.

  21. - Sigh - Friday, Sep 22, 17 @ 10:37 am:

    Reggie is my State Rep. I don’t always agree with his votes, but you could have a conversation with him. He will be missed just for that reason. If you look at that district, it’s republican - Duane Noland, Righter, Bill Mitchell, Eddy, Halbrook & Phillips. It’s a district where the Trump supporters are everywhere, yet many qualify for and use social service programs. Unless a reasonable republican surfaces, get prepared for someone that has no progressive beliefs.

  22. - Annonin' - Friday, Sep 22, 17 @ 10:45 am:

    Yup. In just 4 short years he has done irreversible damage to EIU and the other colleges and universities. Fabulous. Same goes for Hammond, Bryant, et. al.
    after several years of cuts and no payments families found it less and less reason to consider colleges and universities in IL. Very unclear if they can stage a comeback.
    While that region of the state is nice there aint’ much else goin’ on there.
    Safe to guess GovJunk will send some stooge screened by the IPI clown car and then air some SIngleMom ads

  23. - wordslinger - Friday, Sep 22, 17 @ 11:20 am:

    Deft Wing, you’re obviously the voice of the people.

    You should run for state rep. You could be Gov. Deadbeat’s floor leader.

  24. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 22, 17 @ 11:43 am:

    - Deft Wing -

    Only lemmings think “taxpayers” sounds at all smart… when saving Illinois isn’t “betraying” anything.

    But, you keep thinking destroying the state is smart.

  25. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 22, 17 @ 11:53 am:

    To Rep. Phillips,

    Thanks for your votes to save Illinois from Bruce and Diana Rauner’s dream of the continued destruction of EIU, and the state.

    You will be sorely missed for the last votes you made. I’m very grateful.

    Oswego Willy

  26. - Country Kobe - Friday, Sep 22, 17 @ 12:16 pm:

    =IIRC, he turned down a pension.=
    Does that justify his “Destroy Illinois” voting record?

  27. - Demoralized - Friday, Sep 22, 17 @ 1:40 pm:

    ==Republican capitulators & tax-raisers==

    lol. Yes, because the two years that preceded the budget and tax hike votes were so much fun. Those “capitulators” acted responsibly. Or would you have rather continued to see the state providers and vendors be destroyed? I respect those “capitulators” a lot more than those of you that wanted the destruction to continue.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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