Springfield, IL ….Jim Durkin was officially sworn in as State Representative of the 82nd legislative district and as House Republican Leader for the new 99th General Assembly. The Inaugural ceremony was held on Wednesday in the Sangamon Auditorium at the University of Illinois at Springfield.
Three of Leader Durkin’s colleagues, Representative Chad Hays of Danville; Barbara Wheeler of Fox Lake; and Bill Mitchell of Forsyth each nominated Durkin for Speaker of the House. Each of the nominators spoke to the audience and lawmakers on stage about why Jim Durkin should be elected Speaker. They spoke about his integrity, intelligence, ability to work in a bi-partisan manner, and his reputation as being the voice of reason in very difficult situations. Not unexpectedly, Speaker Madigan was re-elected Speaker, and Durkin, the House Republican Leader along party lines.
In his speech, Leader Durkin told the audience and his 118 colleagues that ‘the issues facing our state challenges ahead are profound, deep and real. They are not Republican nor Democratic.”
Durkin stressed that our state’s problems can be solved if both parties work together. “We certainly have our work cut out for us. But I know that if we work together, we have the ability to put our state back on the path to prosperity and success.”