Republicans Lined Up For Top House Job

Aug 22, 2013
Originally published on August 21, 2013 5:16 pm

Illinois House Republican Leader Tom Cross on Wednesday told colleagues he would soon step down. There are a handful of lawmakers who've already set their sights on his job.

House Republicans say Cross told them he'd resign as leader in October. He reportedly didn't say what his plans are, although it's widely rumored he intends to run for state treasurer.

There are at least three men who want to lead the 47-members of the House GOP — including Reps. Jim Durkin of Western Springs and Raymond Poe of Springfield.

Some have cast the race as a fight between suburban lawmakers and those downstate. But Poe says he hopes the party comes together.

"I mean the last thing we want is a split caucus. We want a unified caucus," Poe says. "Hopefully, after this thing is over, I hope we don't hear about upstate and downstate and all that. I hope we talk about Republicans in Illinois."

Poe says his top priority would be getting the Republicans out of super-minority status — depriving Democrats of their veto-proof majority.

Also in the running is Rep. Dwight Kay of Glen Carbon. But he won his last election by just 329 votes. Leaders are usually from so-called "safe" districts, so his selection would be a departure.

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