SPRINGFIELD – After leading the Illinois Senate Republicans for eight years, Senate Minority Leader Chris Radogno (R-Lemont) announced Thursday that she would retire Saturday.
The senator expressed frustration that the "grand bargain" state budget she had worked on with Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) was not supported by several in her caucus, and that Illinois financial crisis continues.
"It was my initial hope that my natural break point would be sending the grand bargain over to the House," Radogno told reporters. Then with a more ominous prediction she said, "I'm not sure there's another natural break point coming soon."
Without a state budget supported by at least four Republican votes in the Illinois House, the state's bond could drop to "junk" status – the worst in the nation. The drop in status will cost Illinoisans more and more to repay, and could be a point of no return.
Radogno says she supports the governor's goals to reform the state's political system – one dominated fully by the Democrats for decades.
"I feel strongly the governor has the right agenda, but it's not that easy getting there. We need fundamental change in this building, but we need to compromise in order to get there," she said.
Radogno's 20-year voting record showed her as a moderate Republican on social issues, but conservative on budget and fiscal issues.
Sources say that the top three contenders to succeed Radogno as the Republican leader include Senators Bill Brady of Bloomington, Karen McConnaughay of West Dundee and Mike Connelly of Naperville.
Comment below on who you prefer of those three to succeed Senator Radogno …
I don’t blame her for resigning.
One other Senator has told me he will “throw in the towel” after this term is finished. He is tired of wasting his time in futile attempts to get things done here in “Madiganistan.”
Resigning from leadership is understandable after eight years….
But leaving one’s district without representation until the committeemen make a replacement appointment would not be.
We’re only in the minority, but still, every seat we lose gives the Democrats an easier path to passage of their bills over GOP objection.
We can’t afford to have a day in Springfield with unnecessarily lighter GOP attendance.
I celebrate any time a filthy liberal leaves office regardless of its party affiliation.
“Moderate Republican on social issues, but conservative on budget and fiscal issues” my rear end.
Good riddance Democrat
Who would I prefer, not Bill Brady
I’m glad that she quit. She’s too liberal, and she was in the senate too long. I hope that a conservative elected official will be appointed to replace her.
Dave Syverson should follow her lead. A quarter of a century is TOO long.
God bless Her but she was a Great leader
Here’s what I wrote to a friend on why she retired: She was going to get a primary any way and my guess is that her many enemies were organizing to get rid of her in 2019. This way she can go down as a martyr to “good government” (funded by our skyrocketing taxes, of course). She’s got enough years for a big pension—that’s one reason why these bums always cave to the unions in the end—they want to live off the taxpayers for the rest of their lives, too
Agreed, re: Syverson.