PLAINVIEW – Monday, State Senator Sam McCann (R-Plainview) announced he would not be seeking re-election for his 50th State Senate seat. In his announcement, McCann expressed dismay with the state's Republican Party:
"While representing the men and women of the 50th District has been one of the great honors and privileges of my life, it is clear that the Illinois Republican Party, including several of the county party organizations, has lost its way under Governor Rauner," McCann said.
McCann would have faced a GOP primary challenger – Springfield's Steve McClure – if he had chosen to seek re-election. In August, the local GOP party voted to back McClure instead of the incumbent McCann.
In 2016, Rauner-affiliated groups such as the Illinois Opportunity Project spent between $4 and $5 Million to challenge McCann in the GOP primary. McCann opposed Governor Rauner's efforts to reform state union pensions.
McCann told NBC news earlier this year that he was considering an independent bid for governor in 2018. He would be pro-union and pro-Trump, the report said.
"I am unable to continue on with a party or a governor who continually attack working people; who support forcing taxpayers to fund abortions; who have turned Illinois into a sanctuary state; who have advanced the most liberal standards in the nation giving transgender individuals the ability to alter their birth certificates; and who have destroyed Illinois’ Right of Conscience Act so as to force pro-life doctors, nurses and other providers to violate their consciences and be denied their Constitutional Rights. This is no longer a Republican Party that is recognizable to me," McCann said.
McCann said he plans to stay in office and continue to represent the constituents of the 50th District until his term is over in January 2019. He was first elected to the seat in November, 2010 and took office in January, 2011.
UPDATE: McCann may have an independent opponent for governor – Once-Republican Party affiliated William Kelly said Monday he is also now running for governor as an independent in 2018.