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*** UPDATED x1 *** Sens. Harmon, Curran receive support from their members

Wednesday, Nov 16, 2022 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* Senate President Don Harmon…

Illinois Senate President Don Harmon issued the following statement after receiving support Tuesday from the Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus to continue in the position next year.

“I want to thank my colleagues for their continued support. Our accomplishments in the Senate are a team effort. We head into a new session collectively focused on moving Illinois forward.”

The 103rd General Assembly inauguration is scheduled for Jan. 11, 2023.

* Sen. John Curran…

THE FOLLOWING IS A STATEMENT BY STATE SENATOR JOHN CURRAN (R-41st DISTRICT) ON HIS UNANIMOUS ELECTION AS SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER FOR THE 103RD GENERAL ASSEMBLY:

“I am humbled and honored to have the full support of my Senate Republican colleagues to serve as their new leader in the 103rd General Assembly. We stand ready, with our focus directed toward the future, on developing solutions that will address the critical issues facing our state. We are equally dedicated to growing our ranks, which will give all Illinoisans greater representation and balance in their state government.”

* Sen. Dan McConchie…

In response to the Senate Republican Caucus choosing a new Leader for the 103rd General Assembly, outgoing Leader Dan McConchie released the following statement:

“It has been my distinct privilege to serve as Senate Republican Leader, and I wish Senator Curran the very best as he assumes the helm.

“Running for office, let alone running for Leader, was never something I aspired to do. In both cases I responded to a call to serve. In this latest role, I am proud of my record and accomplishments.

“Illinois’s problems are not a mystery. While people for years have flocked to states with lower taxes and better standards of living, Illinois’s net population has largely stayed flat. We all know people who have left our state for better environments. It is the moral responsibility of the state’s leadership to attempt to address the real systemic problems facing our state so that we once again can become the people magnet we once were. On this point, the Democratic leadership fails miserably while the Senate Republicans stand strong.

“In my tenure, we became a caucus unafraid of putting real solutions on the table and engaging in rhetorical battle for them. We introduced numerous bills covering a whole host of issue areas that outline our vision to once again make Illinois a state to which people flock. We weighed into the debate with vigor fighting for that vision that we know can put us on the path to a brighter future.

“I can only presume that the majority’s refusal to even allow debate on our suggestions is rooted in fear - fear that the public will embrace an alternative to the singular reality they are currently offered.

“When I assumed this role, I committed to grow the Caucus by recruiting outstanding candidates and providing them with resources so they had a chance to win despite Pritzker’s wallet and the gerrymandered maps that put us at a severe disadvantage. To that end, I was able to raise the most money the Senate Republicans have perhaps ever seen and will leave the Caucus with more members than I started - even as our party saw defeats in every other area.

“During my time, we brought forward real ideas to move Illinois ahead, gave voice to them, and worked to have them considered. We stayed true to ourselves and fought for both our values and our constituents. As I continue to serve in the Senate, I promise to keep up this fight for the future of all Illinoisans.”

*** UPDATE *** Coverage roundup. Sun-Times

Hoping to revive their party in Illinois after tough Election Night losses, Republicans on Tuesday met behind closed doors to select their new legislative leaders: state Sen. John Curran of Downers Grove and state Rep. Tony McCombie of Savanna.

House Republicans voted 31-8 to select McCombie as their new leader in a binding caucus vote.

Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin announced last week that he wouldn’t be seeking reelection as minority leader — and the Western Springs Republican threw his support behind McCombie to take the leadership baton. State Rep. Martin McLaughlin, R-Barrington Hills, secured eight votes. […]

A letter signed by 23 House Republicans last Friday acknowledged the caucus was experiencing “profound changes” and needed a leader with “energetic determination to rebuild the House Republican Caucus.”

* Tribune

McCombie also has joined Republicans who’ve been critical of Pritzker’s management of the state’s Department of Children and Family Services. She was the House sponsor on a bipartisan bill allowing the families of DCFS workers to acquire state benefits if the workers are killed while performing their duties. The measure, which Pritzker signed into law, was prompted by the January slaying of DCFS worker Deidre Silas who was stabbed to death during a home visit in central Illinois. McCombie also joined fellow Republicans in opposition of COVID-19 mitigations. In February, McCombie was among several GOP House members who refused to wear a mask on the House floor.

McCombie also joined fellow Republicans in opposition of COVID-19 mitigations. In February, McCombie was among several GOP House members who refused to wear a mask on the House floor. […]

Regarded as a more moderate Republican, Curran, unlike McCombie, has supported various gun control measures over the years. He was the only GOP senator in 2021 to vote with Democrats in passing a bill that overhauled the state’s firearm owner’s identification card system. That legislation was prompted by a mass shooting at an Aurora warehouse that left six people dead, including the gunman, and several wounded, five of them police officers.

“We stand ready, with our focus directed toward the future, on developing solutions that will address the critical issues facing our state,“ Curran said in a statement Tuesday night.

McConchie issued a statement wishing Curran well and saying Democratic leadership in Illinois has failed “miserably” at addressing the state’s systemic problems.

* NBC 5

McCombie, who will represent the 89th district in the new General Assembly, was one of the early favorites to ascend to the position, according to Politico, and she was voted into the office during a caucus meeting on Tuesday.

“The House Republican Caucus is focused on helping Illinois families by offering common sense solutions to the many problems our state faces,” she said in a statement. “We will be a unified force that will grow our party by sticking to our core values and ending the corruption that has pervaded state government.”

McCombie is the former mayor of Savanna, with party leadership praising her ability to balance budgets before being elected to the General Assembly in 2016.

She previously headed up the campaign arm of the House Republican caucus, and she is currently the party’s spokesperson on the Restorative Justice Committee.

* WTTW

McCombie will be the first woman to serve in a top leadership position in the Illinois House. In 2009, Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno of Western Springs became the first woman to serve in a top leadership post in that chamber. […]

“I came up short. And I’ve done this job for nine years and I have no regrets,” Durkin said. “I’ve been involved with some amazing pieces of legislation, historic moments in Springfield, but I’m also – at this point – I believe it’s great for me to be able to say goodbye and pass it off to the next generation. We’re bringing in a new set of eyes, new energy.” […]

While she has a reputation for conservative leanings, those with knowledge of the internal meeting said McCombie did not receive unanimous support – a sign of the ongoing tension within Republican ranks.

Signs the most right-leaning wing of the House Republican caucus would not support McCombie were apparent last week, when news broke that she had locked enough support to win the job.

Rep. Dan Caulkins, R-Decatur, released a statement Friday bemoaning what he said was “strong arming and media manipulation … the kind of tactics that have produced an apparent permanent minority caucus in the House.”

* Center Square

Republican senators also changed leaders, selecting Downers Grove Republican state Sen. John Curran.

“I am humbled and honored to have the full support of my Senate Republican colleagues to serve as their new leader in the 103rd General Assembly,” Curran said in a statement. “We stand ready, with our focus directed toward the future, on developing solutions that will address the critical issues facing our state. We are equally dedicated to growing our ranks, which will give all Illinoisans greater representation and balance in their state government.”

Curran replaces Senate Minority Leader Dan McConchie, R-Hawthorn Woods.

“Running for office, let alone running for Leader, was never something I aspired to do,” McConchie said in a statement Tuesday evening. “In both cases I responded to a call to serve. In this latest role, I am proud of my record and accomplishments.”

…Adding… Press release…

The American Federation for Children, the nation’s voice for educational choice, congratulates newly chosen leadership of the Republican caucuses in the Illinois General Assembly. The Illinois Senate Republican Caucus has chosen Senator John Curran as its next Leader while the House Republican Caucus has chosen Representative Tony McCombie to serve as its next Leader and first female Leader.

The American Federation for Children looks forward to working with both Leader Curran and Leader McCombie to galvanize their respective caucuses in support of the successful Invest in Kids tax credit scholarship program, with the critical legislative goal of removing the sunset.

The American Federation for Children also wishes to extend its strong appreciation for the contributions that outgoing Leaders Dan McConchie and Jim Durkin have provided to the school choice movement during their tenure leading their caucuses in Springfield.

       

16 Comments »
  1. - Lake Villa township PC - Wednesday, Nov 16, 22 @ 8:33 am:

    McConchie paid the price for keeping Darren Bailey as a member of the senate health committee.


  2. - H-W - Wednesday, Nov 16, 22 @ 8:42 am:

    Republicans just do not seem to understand why people are leaving their districts - rural Illinois.

    It is rural Illinois that is problematic, not Illinois writ-large. The effects of Agribusiness seizing control of local economies in the 1980s led to the current problems here, and the losses of population in rural Illinois.

    Arguing about taxes and asserting that emigration is related to taxes is just nonsense. We are witnessing the third wave of children leaving rural Illinois since the Farm Crisis of the 1980s.

    Fix that, create jobs in Republican areas for former farm families, and then you might have something. But blaming crime in Chicago (not even close to the most dangerous city in America), and blaming social support systems and property taxes (as if these are the same everywhere), is just way of the mark.


  3. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 16, 22 @ 8:45 am:

    ===On this point, the Democratic leadership fails miserably while the Senate Republicans stand strong.===

    That’s adorable. You are leaving the SGOP leadership with the caucus as weak as it can be; Superminority.

    ===“I can only presume that the majority’s refusal to even allow debate on our suggestions is rooted in fear - fear that the public will embrace an alternative to the singular reality they are currently offered.===

    No.

    Voters were afraid of ultra extremists that are a danger to women’s health.

    Voters feared your candidates. You learned nothing as you leave leadership. Zero.

    ===I was able to raise the most money the Senate Republicans have perhaps ever seen and will leave the Caucus with more members than I started===

    Irrelevance is still irrelevance.


  4. - low level - Wednesday, Nov 16, 22 @ 9:08 am:

    ===“engaging in rhetorical battle for them. ”==

    As OW often says, winners make policy. I’ll add that Losers engage in “rhetorical battle”.


  5. - George Pearson Thoughts - Wednesday, Nov 16, 22 @ 9:11 am:

    “When I assumed this role, I committed to grow the Caucus by recruiting outstanding candidates and providing them with resources”

    HA! In his concession press release, top Senate candidate Patrick Sheehan (who lost a razor thin election to disgraced Sen. Hastings) said McConchie “left me for dead” and thanked Tim Ozinga and the Big Tent Coalition for running his campaign.


  6. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Nov 16, 22 @ 9:43 am:

    Sen McConchie seems to believe that the way to deal with the continued repudiation of Republican candidates in the General Assembly is to double down on what they are doing. Doesn’t seem to have learned much of a lesson, hence why I don’t see the Republicans coming out of a super-minority status.


  7. - dr. jimmy - Wednesday, Nov 16, 22 @ 10:27 am:

    lets not forget that Leader McCombie advocated for kicking chicago out of illinois thats real leadership right there let me tell you.


  8. - Lunchbox - Wednesday, Nov 16, 22 @ 10:50 am:

    Maybe this is semantics, but doesn’t Barbara Flynn Currie serving as House Majority Leader from ‘97- ‘19 count as a woman serving in a top leadership position? Madigan was Speaker but not sure why Currie isn’t mentioned.


  9. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 16, 22 @ 10:50 am:

    McCombie was she also one of the non-maskers on the floor?


  10. - Tony DeKalb - Wednesday, Nov 16, 22 @ 11:08 am:

    So the lesson learned is that they double down? Sounds about on brand.


  11. - Norseman - Wednesday, Nov 16, 22 @ 11:13 am:

    I’m not up on Curran, but McCombie certainly sends the message that the IL MAGA GOP House members still don’t get it.


  12. - ugh - Wednesday, Nov 16, 22 @ 12:07 pm:

    Chapin Rosa had 3 minutes in front of a Senate floor microphone today, and he let us know that suggesting IL is backwards, or doesn’t have common sense, or doesn’t make sense isn’t yet passe in his book. I suppose the majority of his constituents agree but..

    I think Illinois voters made a lot of sense this election and are far from backwards. I would really love to see the criticisms of IL that Bruce Rauner seemed to enjoy so much end soon. Beating up on your own state just doesn’t appear to be a winning strategy.


  13. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Nov 16, 22 @ 12:13 pm:

    ===Beating up on your own state just doesn’t appear to be a winning strategy. ===

    It’s also bad for the state as a whole. Criticism is good, but this stuff is horrible.


  14. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 16, 22 @ 12:17 pm:

    Rose has devolved to being almost useless to his own constituency

    Was a Rauner guy who consistently voted to hurt UIUC, and made a point to shrink in his thinking to what is good for this state.

    Now Rose is a funny caricature that lacks a self-awareness as he panders to a bunch of simpletons who feel aggrieved as their way of life is fading … and trying to evolve is harder than being old and angry.


  15. - low level - Wednesday, Nov 16, 22 @ 1:46 pm:

    Chapin hasn’t gotten over UIUC getting rid of the Chief.


  16. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 16, 22 @ 2:05 pm:

    ===Chapin hasn’t gotten over UIUC getting rid of the Chief.===

    The difference between “being yourself unapologetically with respect” and “being a funny caricature that can’t help but that silly comedic stereotype” is a fine line.

    If Rose starts tossing papers or other bits…


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