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Tuesday, March 21, 2023
HomeIllinois NewsFortner joins ranks of non-returning state lawmakers

Fortner joins ranks of non-returning state lawmakers



HeadshotWEST CHICAGO – State Rep. Mike Fortner (R-West Chicago) announced Monday morning that he will not be seeking re-election in 2018 – another in a growing list of state lawmakers who have decided not to run again.

Life is lived in cycles. There are cycles due to changes in our personal lives and those of our families. Elected officials are not immune to these cycles. At the end of this term in 2019 I will have served 12 years in the general assembly – 6 years representing the 49th district and 6 years before that representing the 95th district. Before I was sworn in as a state representative I served 12 years in elected office with the City of West Chicago – 6 years as mayor and 6 years as alderman before that. It has been my honor to serve the public at both the state and local level, but after many months of reflection I have decided that it is time for this cycle to end, and I will not run for reelection in 2018.

As a state representative I have been privileged to use my experience in local government, science and technology to help the people of Illinois. I led the effort to improve our electric power by allowing municipalities to buy power on behalf of their residents. I have been successful in protecting our privacy from unauthorized video recording and unauthorized use of passwords on social media. This year I was successful in helping to negotiate major improvements to the way we recycle electronic equipment, and to improve access to voting registration through automation. However, none of this would have been possible without the support of the people I represent and my colleagues in the legislature.

Twelve years ago a door opened for me when my predecessor decided to seek another position. With this announcement I can open a door to a successor, who I hope will enjoy the same support and success I have in public office.

Fortner was among those that voted to override Governor Bruce Rauner's budget veto last month, and led the charge for a controversial automatic voter registration plan. 

Last week, Republican State Rep. Patti Bellock announced her retirement. Before that, State Rep. Chad Hayes (R-Catlin), State Rep. Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) State Rep. Bob Pritchard (R-Hinkcley) and Democrats Elain Nekritz (D-Northbrook) and Emily McAsey (D-Lockport) announced they would not return to the Illinois House. State Senator Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) resigned effective immediately, and  State Senator Tim Bivins (R-Dixon) and State Senator Kyle McCarter (R-Lebanon) are not returning after their current terms. 

More on those possible successors to Fortner coming … 


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  1. My disgust in this is with Fortner and Pritchard,
    Had they already decided to leave BEFORE the Madigan tax vote?
    If so, their votes FOR the tax increase was a disgusting trick: a lift of their coat-tails to the decent people who elected them, as they showed their butts and ran out the door.
    As for Fortner’s seat, Tonia Khouri has announced she will campaign for it. She is politically and financially conservative. She can win it.

  2. I’m glad that Rep. Fortner won’t run for re-election because he’s not conservative and because he’s been in the general assembly too long. A lot more legislators should retire after eight years.

  3. It will be an open race, with no incumbent. All I know is what I have seen, and I believe Tonia is the “real deal.” We will soon see how many will compete in the Primary for Fortner’s seat.
    There may be that one “perfect candidate” that everyone will like.
    Unfortunately, that person never runs, so we must sift and evaluate to find the best one from those who do.
    Our job will be to see to it that the Illinois GOP doesn’t play favorites in this race.

  4. Anybody who runs for race after race like Oberweis (or that guy from the early 2000s who would constantly run for the Senate and show up on Tom Roeser’s show sounding like an even more Beta Steve Forbes) just raises red flags for me.
    She lost, she should go away. Not run for the next power offic that comes up.