A state representative from northern Illinois is leaving the legislature six months early.
Bob Pritchard, R-Hinckley, announced last year that he wouldn’t run for re-election, but he planned to continue representing the DeKalb area until his replacement is sworn in in January. That plan changed this week.
"I’ve been appointed to a board by the governor," said Pritchard. "As such, I had to resign from my legislative position. And that is all taking place on July 1."
So what’s Pritchard’s new gig? He'll be the newest member of the Northern Illinois University Board of Trustees. Gov. Bruce Rauner made the announcement Thursday afternoon.
Pritchard wanted to keep the news quiet until the governor's announcement, but a state representative in an adjacent district beat him to the punch Wednesday, releasing a statement saying Pritchard will continue his strong commitment to education on the Northern Illinois University Board of Trustees.
“Bob is a very strong addition to the NIU Board,” Rauner said in a news release. “He has a working knowledge of the challenges that face higher education and he is well equipped to advocate for the university, its students and the public-at-large on issues ranging from affordability to access.”
Pritchard has served on many education committees and task forces during his 15 years in the legislature and is recognized as a strong proponent of NIU, which is located within his district. Pritchard was appointed as the 70th district's state representative in 2003 after the death of Rep. David Wirsing.
There are three men vying for the seat Pritchard is vacating: Democrat Paul Stoddard, Republican Jeff Keicher, and Libertarian John Mathey. The Republican party may appoint someone to fill out the remainder of Pritchard's term.