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Another State Lawmaker Announces Departure From Legislature, Worries Over Future Of GOP

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Brian Mackey/NPR Illinois
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Rep. David Harris was one of 16 Republican legislators who defied Gov. Bruce Rauner and voted with Democrats to end Illinois' budget stalemate.

State Rep. David Harris is the latest in a growing list of Illinois lawmakers who say they’re not running for re-election.

Harris, R-Arlington Heights, has been attacked for breaking with his party to raise taxes and end the state's two-year budget impasse.

“The fact that we now have a budget, I think, is a good thing," Harris said Wednesday in a telephone interview. "It prevented the state from going to the status of junk bonds, which would have been disastrous."

Harris said he’s worried the Republican Party has become too divided.

“We’re just fighting among ourselves," he said. "I don’t see how that makes us stronger. I don’t see how that builds our base. I don’t see how that allows us to enact policies that work for the benefit of all. It narrows the base, in my mind."

Harris is a retired two-star general who once commanded the Illinois National Guard.

The current General Assembly convened just nine months ago. Harris is at least the 29th state legislator to resign or say he won’t seek another term.