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This just in… Rep. Dave McSweeney won’t seek reelection

Thursday, Sep 5, 2019

* Rep. Dave McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills) just called to say he’s decided not to run for reelection, but he will complete his current term in office.

McSweeney said he wants to focus on a statewide bid in 2022, either for US Senate against Tammy Duckworth or for secretary of state if Jesse White retires.

It’s tough to see success in the current political environment, but a statewide GOP win isn’t totally out of the question if President Trump loses next year and the new Democratic president has a rocky start (think 1994 and 2010).

McSweeney said he’s forming a super PAC, likely a 501(c)(4), that he’ll use to buttress a statewide bid. He plans to start campaigning statewide soon, but he has been speaking at various Lincoln Day dinners over the past year.

McSweeney said he has been encouraging Barrington Hills Village President Martin McLaughlin to run for his House seat, but McLaughlin has so far made no commitments.

* Rep. McSweeney has fought battle after battle with House Republican Leader Jim Durkin over the years. In retaliation, Durkin has pulled McSweeney’s state staff and McSweeney has called him a corrupt, anti-Trump RINO. A McSweeney exit will undoubtedly lower the tension on the Republican side of the aisle.

Durkin’s spokesperson Eleni Demertzis released a brief statement today: “We wish him well.”

…Adding… Rep. Mark Batinick…

David McSweeney was one of my earliest supporters. While there was friction within our caucus over the last few years, I’ve always appreciated his independent streak and willingness to challenge authority. Rep. McSweeney has been fighting for property tax relief, transparency, and reform at every level of government. We need reformers in Springfield.

Rep. McSweeney will no doubt bring his tenacious approach and reform agenda to a statewide run. I wish him the best.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Flat Bed Ford - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 11:14 am:

    The House Republican caucus will not even know he’s gone.

  2. - NIU Grad - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 11:16 am:

    One would think he would have a stronger advantage staying in his seat…maybe it’s not fun driving down to Springfield just to be alone and surrounded by enemies, accomplishing nothing. Who knew?

  3. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 11:17 am:

    “We wish him well.”

    I was expecting a “Bye Felicia”… so this is nice

  4. - don the legend - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 11:18 am:


  5. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 11:19 am:

    Every statehouse story just lost half its sourcing

  6. - Demoralized - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 11:20 am:

    McSweeney is persona non grata. Why stay in a place where you will no longer have a relevant voice? I also don’t find him to be all that productive when you view his constant rantings about lowering every tax in the book without provding any sort of commentary about what he intends to do about expenditures. He wants to lower property taxes. He wants to lower income taxes. He just doesn’t offer anything realistic. He’s all talk. Goodbye Representative.

  7. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 11:21 am:

    ===I also don’t find him to be all that productive===

    Dude has passed a lot of bills.

  8. - Norseman - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 11:22 am:

    The 102nd G.A. is already starting to look better.

  9. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 11:24 am:

    House Republican com staffer to lose member

  10. - NIU Grad - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 11:25 am:

    “Dude has passed a lot of bills.”

    Oops, I mixed him up with Skillicorn on the “accomplishing nothing” part.

  11. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 11:28 am:

    To my own thought?

    I felt Rep. McSweeney was both very good for the caucus and terribly divisive for the caucus simultaneously.

    Rep. McSweeney, like the Fab 5, a group recently that came to mind for other things, found this need to be rebels to the system while trying to climb the system’s totem.

    What I’ve always liked about Rep. McSweeney was his passion to his beliefs, but again simultaneously, those core beliefs also refuse to see prices paid for simple solutions

    I liked Rep. McSweeney mixing it up to make the caucus think, I was troubled each time McSweeney undermined caucus leadership.

    I liked Rep. McSweeney reaching across the aisle, I was troubled at times the few were meant to have motives other than bipartisan.

    I think Rep. McSweeney could be an important voice post-Rauner… Mr. McSweeney also aided and abetted Rauner each and every time his switch voted Raunerite.

    As a fiscal conservative, Raunerism should be ALL you couldn’t stand, yet you stood with Rauner… vote after vote.

    I, unlike “some” releasing statements, wish him well. Sincerely.

    When McSweeney atones for his Rauner votes, and shows the massive cuts he’s willing to endure for massive tax breaks, I’ll like Rep. McSweeney even more.

    All the best.


  12. - Wilson - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 11:33 am:

    Sports analogy: he is like Antonio Brown, Laveon Bell & a host of others - super talented but a cancer in the locker room/caucus.

  13. - A guy - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 11:43 am:

    For this political funeral he may have to hire pall bearers.

  14. - Uncle Ernie - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 11:48 am:

    I like RINOS…

  15. - lake county democrat - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 11:53 am:

    Today RINO means “Reagan Republican” as often as not.

  16. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 11:54 am:

    - Uncle Ernie -

    If anything, Rep. McSweeney is a relic of an old Republican guard that has enveloped upon itself as the likes of “Trump and Rauner, Rauner and Trump” don’t speak to what it was to be a Republican.

  17. - anon2 - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 12:45 pm:

    I respect McSweeney for being a man of principles, even if I don’t agree with all of them. He’s a vivid contrast with most Republicans who have done an about face on their traditional principles in the Trump era.

    As far as his effectiveness, he was voted the House Republican of Year by Capitol Fax.

  18. - Donnie Elgin - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 12:57 pm:

    I will miss him, McSweeney strived to keep his own caucus honest and transparent a rare trait today.

  19. - {Sigh} - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 1:11 pm:

    Who will keep the media and guest entertained while the republicans caucus? McSweeney usually used caucus time to practice his floor speeches- which sometimes included throwing papers to see how hard he needed to throw the papers to get a dramatic sound. {sigh}

    Since this appears to be a sudden announcement, can we call for an investigation and find out what cause this turn of events and find out when he decided not to run {snark}. We deserve full transparency from the guy that calls for transparency. What did McSweeney know and when did he know it?

  20. - Just Observing - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 1:33 pm:

    Marty McLaughlin, if he does run, would be a great asset to the district and the state.

  21. - Say What? - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 1:53 pm:

    Mr. McSweeney played his hand poorly and like Rauner, leaves with no friends. I would call him irrelevant, but I have known irrelevant Legislators and wouldn’t want to offend them.

  22. - SAP - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 2:06 pm:

    Classy statement by Batinick.

  23. - William Strong - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 2:15 pm:

    “It’s tough to see success in the current political environment, but a statewide GOP win isn’t totally out of the question if President Trump loses next year and the new Democratic president has a rocky start (think 1994 and 2010).”

    2010 brought us statewide GOP wins in Illinois because…wait for it…Barack Obama had a rocky start as President? That case can be made in other parts of the country but a hard sell when PQ was at the top of the ticket and Obama’s IL approval rating was still incredibly high.

  24. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 2:16 pm:

    ===but a hard sell when PQ was at the top of the ticket===

    OK, look at 2014, then.

  25. - John Lopez - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 2:26 pm:

    ===OW Said=====================================
    Rep. McSweeney, like the Fab 5, a group recently that came to mind for other things, found this need to be rebels to the system while trying to climb the system’s totem.

    The “Mag 7″ could learn a lot from the Fab 5. And where are they now? Only 2 are still in politics, one endorsed Allen Skillicorn for Congress during the spring, one is enjoying retirement, don’t know about O’Malley.

  26. - William Strong - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 2:35 pm:

    2014 is an even better example of why the top of the ticket matters. PQ destroyed the down ballot races when he couldn’t energize Dems to come out. I find that hard to believe with the operation JB will run for re-election (if he needs to).

    The President’s policies definitely had impacts in places like OH and PA, but if you look at the IL congressionals, IL10, one of the purple-ist districts in the country, was extremely competitive which Schneider narrowly lost and Dems lost a seat to Bost that has obviously been trending R for a while and tough to win unless your last name is Costello.

  27. - Tom Gooch - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 3:17 pm:

    Statewide???? A US Senator, him? BLAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  28. - Token Conservative - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 3:19 pm:

    Don’t let the copper doors hit you where the good Lord split you, Representative.

  29. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 4:02 pm:

    If David McSweeney wins Secretary of State does he also get the tumblers?
    Asking for a friend.

  30. - Tim - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 4:57 pm:

    He is right about Durkin.

  31. - {Sigh} - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 5:27 pm:

    By chance does if McSweeney’s employer, SteelRiver Infrastructure Partners, benefit from the passage of the capital bills? Thought I would ask since we are being transparent.

  32. - Career Politician 2.0 - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 7:56 pm:

    Dave McSweeney September 2019: I want “to focus on a statewide bid in 2022, either for US Senate against Tammy Duckworth or for secretary of state if Jesse White retires.”

    Dave McSweeney September 2006: “I have zero interest in becoming a career politician. If people are interested in professional politicians, I’m the wrong person, because that’s not what I’m all about.”

  33. - Ill Annoyed - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 10:51 pm:

    He’s leaving to focus on a statewide run…for Governor of New Illinois

  34. - Touré's Latte - Friday, Sep 6, 19 @ 11:20 am:

    “The House Republican caucus will not even know he’s gone.”

    You are kidding, right? There is a Republican Caucus in the House? Get outta here.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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