Lemont mayor appointed to fill House seat vacated by former GOP leader Jim Durkin – Chicago Tribune newstrendslive

Lemont Mayor John Egofske was appointed by Republicans to fill the Illinois House seat vacated by state Rep. Jim Durkin, who led the chamber’s GOP caucus for many years before resigning last month.

Egofske will stay on as mayor of the southwest suburb while also representing the House district that covers Lemont, Burr Ridge and most of Homer Glen.

 Lemont Mayor John Egofske was selected as the new state representative to fill the vacancy of former House Republican Leader Jim Durkin.

Durkin served in the House for 24 years, including nine as leader of the Republican minority. A moderate member of his party, he announced his resignation in January, acknowledging that the “party over the last at least six years has shifted.” Durkin took heat after the November election, when Democrats flipped five House seats.

Egofske, a certified public accountant who retired from a business career to run for mayor in 2017, said he will work to “lower property taxes, address crime and keep jobs in Illinois, ” according to the release announcing his appointment. He could not be reached for comment Monday.

He applied for the vacancy with backing from Durkin, who in a statement called Egofske “a proven business leader and outstanding public servant” whose “success in the village of Lemont prepared him to solve the problems facing our state. “

While he is listed as an independent on campaign disclosure documents, Durkin called Egofske a “good Republican. ”

“John (Egofske) is a pragmatic Republican; someone who is not going to fall in line with the extremists that have, for the time being hijacked the party,” Durkin said in an interview Monday. “Someone who’s going to look at the issue and will make a decision based on what he thinks is right for the district. ”

Egofske was appointed to the seat by a committee of six local Republican leaders. The process to fill vacancies was amended in 2021 and now requires “greater transparency” according to Dan Pelphrey, a spokesman for the House Republican caucus.

The selection groups “must publicize the names of the individuals who serve on these committees, how any member of the public may apply for a vacancy, and the date and time of the meeting where the appointment is to take place, ”Pelphrey said.

The announcement of Egofske’s new role said he does not accept a salary as Lemont mayor and will decline a state pension.


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