Illinois House Leader Challenged for Position

Written by Fran Eaton,

Illinois House Republican leader Tom Cross (Plainfield) gambled and lost on a potential run for attorney general and now finds himself trying to fend off attempts by rank-and-file state lawmakers looking to take away the job he’s got.

Cross, who has led the long-out-of-power House GOP for 10 years, had a promotion in mind at the end of spring session in late May, telling his members he’d likely run for the state’s chief legal office if Democratic Attorney General Lisa Madigan pursued a run for governor. Instead, Madigan opted to seek a fourth term. Cross, wanting no part of the politically formidable Madigan, decided he wanted to stay on as legislative leader.

“We have to keep our eye on the ball,” said Rep. Jim Durkin, a Western Springs Republican who is among those setting his sights on taking over Cross’ leadership position. “Let’s call it like it is. Since May through this (month), Rep. Tom Cross was focused on one thing: That was becoming attorney general of the state of Illinois.”

Besides Durkin, Reps. Raymond Poe of Springfield and Dwight Kay of Glen Carbon near St. Louis have offered themselves as Downstate alternatives and are working on building support to dump Cross of Oswego. …More HERE