Rep. Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) bested Rep. Raymond Poe (R-Springfield) as Illinois House Republicans’ new leader. Despite a “scuffle” over the leadership post in past days, Durkin and Poe presented a united front after the closed-door caucus meeting at the Statehouse Inn in Springfield Thursday.
Call him “House Minority Leader Durkin.” State Representative Jim Durkin was elected Thursday by his Republican colleagues as their new House leader.
The new Republican leader is from the Cook County village of Western Springs. He’s an attorney and has served twice in the Illinois House: from 1994 to 2002, and from 2006 to today. In between, he ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate.
Republican members of the Illinois House of Representatives will meet Thursday to try to select a replacement for GOP Leader Tom Cross, who announced last week that he will be stepping down. He's expected to run for State Treasurer instead.
Seventeen House Republicans who signed a letter officially scheduling the meeting say there's no time to waste in replacing him.
The letter says the House Republican's fundraising arm is in "dire financial straits" ... and that shoring up funds ahead of next year's election will be difficult until a new leader is in place.