Illinois House Republicans are set to gather Thursday to talk about who will take over the House leader position. It's not yet clear, however, if they will come to a consensus at the meeting on who to choose.
Illinois House Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) announced last week that he's stepping down from his leadership position to run for state treasurer.
meeting in Springfield about electing a replacement for Cross was
originally planned for September 12, but it got pushed up to Thursday
following a letter signed by enough House Republicans, 17, to change the
date to today. The new meeting date raised some eyebrows among
downstate Republicans, particularly Rep. Raymond Poe of Springfield, who
is one of the top two picks for the job.
“It sounds like even
though some of my people can’t be there, they are going to press ahead
with their meeting on Thursday,” Poe said Tuesday. “I don’t think they
worried about if my people could be there or not, they’d just like to
The other leading contender for the job, Jim Durkin
of Western Springs, wrote in a letter that it's important to act swiftly
on finding a new replacement, adding that most of those who said they could make it to September's meeting can attend today's
It takes 24 votes in order to elect a new leader of the House, which has 47 Republican members.
Durkin said in a letter that he has "the assurance from the majority of our caucus that they will vote for me to be the next leader.”
But Poe told the State Journal-Register this week that he believes he has the 24 votes necessary to be elected.
“I’m not convinced (Durkin will) have enough people there to win, either,” Poe said. “I don’t know what we do then.”
UPDATE 1 (2:30 p.m.): Durkin has been elected the new Republican leader of the Illinois House. Poe pulled out of the race for the election claiming the need for party unity.