(The Center Square) – Illinois Republicans have selected new legislative leaders for the term that begins Jan. 11.
The GOP will continue in the superminority next year in both chambers following last week's election. Tuesday evening, House Republicans selected Savanna state Rep. Tony McCombie to lead the caucus after House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs, said he wouldn't seek the position.
“The House Republican Caucus is focused on helping Illinois families by offering common sense solutions to the many problems our state faces,” McCombie 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’s first election for state representative was in 2016. She had previously served as the mayor of Savanna.
Democratic Comptroller Susana Mendoza praised McCombie's election to lead Republicans.
"Leader McCombie was a chief co-sponsor of my historic and transformational Debt Transparency Act in 2017," Mendoza said. "Risking the wrath of a vengeful governor from her own party after [former Gov. Bruce Rauner] vetoed the bill, Rep. McCombie assisted in marshaling the votes of Republicans to help us unanimously override the governor’s veto in the House."
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."
Democrats maintained their leaders in House Speaker Emanuel "Chris" Welch, D-Hillside, and Senate President Don Harmon, D-Oak Park.
“I want to thank my colleagues for their continued support," Harmon said. "Our accomplishments in the Senate are a team effort. We head into a new session collectively focused on moving Illinois forward.”
Lawmakers continue veto session Wednesday. They canceled Thursday's scheduled day. They'll return the week after thanksgiving before closing out the calendar year. The new General Assembly will be seated Jan. 11.