Members - Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin


Leader Jim Durkin

With a focus on protecting and strengthening families and communities, Jim Durkin, has spent his entire career working for the citizens of Illinois. Jim was born on January 28, 1961, into a large Chicago family of eight boys. Raised in the western suburb of Westchester, Jim graduated from Fenwick High School in 1979. He attended Illinois State University in Bloomington-Normal and graduated in 1984 with a degree in Criminal Justice. Jim completed his formal education in Chicago, receiving his Juris Doctor from John Marshall Law School in 1989.

Following his graduation from law school, Jim served as an Assistant Illinois Attorney General. Jim continued to serve the people of Illinois as an assistant Cook County state’s attorney. While working as an assistant state’s attorney Jim specialized in complicated narcotics investigations and prosecutions. Jim currently practices law in the City of Chicago.

In January 1995, Jim became an Illinois State Representative in the 44th district. In 2002, Jim was the Republican nominee for United States Senate but was unsuccessful in his bid to defeat U.S. Senator Dick Durbin. In 2006, Jim was appointed to fill a vacancy in the 82nd House District and has successfully run for re-election. Jim served as the ranking Republican on the Illinois House of Representatives Special Investigation Committee for the impeachment of Governor Blagojevich, and served as the House Manager for the removal of a sitting member of the Illinois House of Representatives.

In August of 2013, Jim was unanimously selected by his Republican peers to fill the vacancy of House Republican Leader. On October 22, 2013 Jim Durkin was officially inaugurated by the full House of Representatives as the new Illinois House Republican Leader.

Jim’s dedication to the people of Illinois has earned him several honors. In 1997, the Illinois Community College Trustee Association named him Legislator of the Year. The Operating Engineers Local 150 named Jim Statesman of Year in 1999. In 2001 Jim was awarded Citizen of the Year from Sarah’s INN domestic violence Shelter in Oak Park. The Illinois Crime Commission also honored Jim as Legislator of the Year in 2002. In 2000 and 2008, Jim was State Chairman for U.S. Senator John McCain’s presidential campaigns and served as Chairman for the Illinois Delegation at the 2008 Republican National Convention in Minneapolis. Jim currently serves on the John Marshall Law School Board of Trustee’s, Misericordia Board of Advisors, Giant Steps of Illinois Board of Directors and JDRF Illinois Board of Directors.

Jim currently resides in Western Springs, Illinois with his wife Celeste and four daughters.