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*** UPDATED x1 *** Harmon react

Sunday, Jan 19, 2020

* Senate President Don Harmon…

After representing the people of Oak Park and the state of Illinois for more than 17 years, Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) looks forward to serving as the 39th Senate president, and thanks his colleagues for recognizing his legislative accomplishments and for believing in his ability to lead the chamber.

“The Senate is a collection of diverse views and diverse experiences but consistent purpose—to best represent the citizens who send us to the Capitol, to collaborate, to compromise, and to create better opportunities, better outcomes, and greater faith in the honor and integrity of our state,” President Harmon said.

Senate President Harmon was first elected to the Senate in the fall of 2002, and has since promoted a progressive agenda based on his commitment to social justice and public service. In 2011, former-Senate President John Cullerton appointed him president pro tempore, offering Harmon a key role in shaping policy and moving legislation through the Senate.

Notable legislation spearheaded by Senate President Harmon include the Preschool for All Program to expand access to preschool opportunities for thousands of Illinois families, a law to make same-day voter registration a permanent option, and the Fair Tax constitutional amendment to allow Illinois to vote to replace the current flat income tax with a fairer, more equitable and efficient approach to lower tax rates for lower income levels.

“The work now begins in earnest,” President Harmon said. “I look forward to joining together with Governor Pritzker and leaders in both chambers as we work to change the trajectory of our state and set a better course for our future.”

* Gov. Pritzker…

On behalf of the people of Illinois, I congratulate Senator Don Harmon on being elected to serve as the next President of the Illinois State Senate. With 17 years of experience in the upper chamber, I am confident that Don will ably serve and lead the Senate with a steady hand and hold integrity above all else. A staunch advocate for working families, Don was instrumental in shepherding the most sweeping and consequential legislative agenda through the state senate this past year. Because of Senator Harmon’s leadership, we advanced the historic Fair Tax amendment which will change the trajectory of our state’s finances forever, and I was proud to sign his legislation requiring gun dealers to be state-licensed and creating a new parole system for youth facing long sentences. I look forward to working with Senate President Harmon to build on the progress we made last year and continue to move our state in the right direction.

I commend Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford on a historic run and am proud of her work tackling big challenges for working families. Without Kim’s leadership we could not have raised the minimum wage, lifting more than a million Illinoisans out of poverty and I know she has more important work to do as Majority Leader.

Now is the time to come together and continue working on our shared goal of moving Illinois forward.

* Senate GOP Leader Bill Brady…

I want to congratulate Sen. Don Harmon on becoming the new Illinois Senate President. I look forward to meeting with him to discuss the important issues facing our state, such as the need for fair maps, policies that attract businesses and grow jobs, and real property tax relief.

* House Republican Leader Jim Durkin…

Congratulations to Senate President Don Harmon. I look forward to working with him to accomplish great things for the state of Illinois this coming session.

* ILGOP Chairman Tim Schneider…

I congratulate Senator Harmon on becoming the next Illinois Senate President. I hope he brings in a new era of reform that changes course away from the decades of inaction and corruption that have plagued the capitol. The new Senate President can get a great start on that front by strongly supporting substantive ethics reform and a fair maps constitutional amendment.

* llinois Democratic County Chairs’ Association President Kristina Zahorik…

I am very proud and excited for our friend Don Harmon. He has done an amazing job representing the 39th District and Chairing the Democratic Party of Oak Park. His support for Democratic values has extended well beyond the confines of western suburbs and he will do a fantastic job of not only holding our supermajority in the State Senate but expanding on it.

When the IDCCA formed our advisory Leadership Circle two years ago, we knew that we needed Senator Harmon as part of our organization. We were honored with his support then and his continued support now. Senate President Harmon has shown us that he is committed to building the Democratic Party. We are looking forward to continuing to partner with him as we build our Party throughout Illinois.

…Adding… Secretary of State Jesse White…

Congratulations to our new Senate President, Don Harmon.

I’ve known Senator Harmon for many years and he has the skills and character necessary to be a strong and effective Senate President. I look forward to working with him on issues important to the Secretary of State’s office.

I also applaud John Cullerton for his years of leadership as Senate President and as an advocate for road safety. I wish him all the best in his future endeavors.

*** UPDATE *** Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford…

This has been an incredible journey for me over the past several weeks and one that I would never trade. While it’s not the outcome I had hoped for, I know that the Senate Democratic caucus will emerge stronger and more unified than ever. I want to thank my colleagues who put their trust in me with their vote. To those who did not, I look forward to the many battles ahead that we will fight together to make this state the very best it can be for every resident and family.

I have known Senator Harmon for many years and know that our caucus will be in very good hands with him as our President. With our state being at such a critical juncture, we have no time to waste in getting to work. I look forward to standing alongside President Harmon and our caucus to ensure that we do everything we can to lift people up throughout Illinois and build a road map for residents, families and businesses to thrive and have hope for a great future.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

10 Comments
  1. - Capitol Text - Sunday, Jan 19, 20 @ 6:19 pm:

    Any word how Iris Martinez voted?


  2. - low level - Sunday, Jan 19, 20 @ 6:25 pm:

    Anyone that met him back in the day got a feeling that he was destined for big things. The work ethic he showed confirmed it. Particularly liked his reference to that guy in the last administration as being Rauner’s “rhymes with fishbowl”. LOL


  3. - Oswego Willy - Sunday, Jan 19, 20 @ 6:36 pm:

    Congratulations to President Harmon and to Majority Leader Lightford as they and their caucus works with Leader Brady and the entire senate to lead Illinois forward.

    This spring session will bring more challenges and I’m hopeful the senate will continue to be a place that gets things done.


  4. - Haha - Sunday, Jan 19, 20 @ 7:08 pm:

    A reporter knocked on Sen. Andy Manar’s office door looking for comment, but heard only sobbing from within.


  5. - Responsa - Sunday, Jan 19, 20 @ 8:06 pm:

    This may sound picky but the governor’s “on behalf of the people of Illinois….” is a little over the top. Everybody else said “congratulations” or “I congratulate”. JB is the governor of Illinois and represents all the people of Illinois to be sure. But he does not speak for all. Comms team, do better.

    Oh, and congratulations to Sen. Harmon from me.


  6. - frontline - Sunday, Jan 19, 20 @ 8:35 pm:

    == With 17 years of experience in the upper chamber, I am confident that Don will ably serve and lead the Senate with a steady hand and hold integrity above all else. ==

    Should the Governor really use the term “upper chamber”?


  7. - 30 rock munch melch - Sunday, Jan 19, 20 @ 8:45 pm:

    I predict this will be the shortest reign of any senate president in Illinois history.


  8. - SAP - Sunday, Jan 19, 20 @ 9:01 pm:

    Congratulations Mr. President


  9. - Former State Employee - Sunday, Jan 19, 20 @ 9:29 pm:

    Kim’s concession speech is so classy - civility and professionalism in politics is so refreshing.


  10. - Oswego Willy - Sunday, Jan 19, 20 @ 9:46 pm:

    The fallout of the Lightford statement could be what I fear for the Senate as a whole right now, a fractured caucus and damaged leader that could have a lasting problem.

    Now the reaction will be focused on the Lightford recap after her own statement.


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