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Durkin appoints new House GOP caucus leadership team

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SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois House Republicans have new leadership in the 100th General Assembly, which commenced last week. 

House Republican Leader Jim Durkin's office announced the following in leadership for the next two years: 

  • Patti Bellock: Deputy Republican Leader
  • Dan Brady: Deputy Republican Leader
  • Norine Hammond: Assistant Republican Leader
  • Chad Hays: Assistant Republican Leader
  • Michael McAuliffe: Assistant Republican Leader
  • Bill Mitchell: Assistant Republican Leader
  • David Reis: Assistant Republican Leader
  • Mike Unes: Assistant Republican Leader
  • Tom Demmer: House Republican Caucus Chair
  • Steve Andersson: House Republican Floor Leader (not a member of Leadership)

McAuliffe, Reis, Unes and Demmer, as well new floor leader Steve Andersson, are new to these positions. Bellock, Brady and Hammond all participated in nominating Durkin for House Speaker immediately after the lawmakers were sworn in last Wednesday in Springfield.

Unes said Tuesday that he's looking forward to working to being a positive influence on the many new members in the House GOP caucus. 

“With nearly 50% of our membership serving their first full term in either the current or previous General Assembly, I am eager to take on this new position not only as an opportunity to influence the policies and overall direction of the 100th General Assembly, but also to guide meaningful progress and mentor our new members as a positive influence," Unes said in a statement. "I will work hard to foster a spirit of trust and integrity among my colleagues."

Dixon's representative Tom Demmer said he looks forward to working with Leader Durkin.

“I am honored to join the House Republican leadership team,” Demmer said.  “I’m proud of the work our caucus has done to fight for a better future for Illinois, and I look forward to working with Leader Durkin and all my colleagues in the 100th General Assembly.”

Two GOP reps that Durkin appointed to assistant leadership two weeks ago were skipped over for the 100th General Assembly – Reps. Keith Wheeler (R-Aurora) and Peter Breen (R-Lombard). 

When asked why reps Wheeler and Breen were not included in the 100th GA's leadership team, Durkin's office said that House Rules require committee chairs or committee minority spokespersons to be in his or her third term or have served in a leadership position. 

Because more than half of the GOP caucus in their first or second term, there were not enough qualified Republicans to serve in those positions on all the House committees.

"By putting Reps Breen and Wheeler into positions of leadership for those two days during lame duck session, they became eligible to serve as spokesperson for committees for this General Assembly," Durkin's office said.

It is likely both Wheeler and Breen will be asked to fill those roles in the 100th session.

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