Illinois House Republicans choose new leader

By WEEK Producer

August 29, 2013 Updated Aug 29, 2013 at 7:29 PM CDT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Illinois House Republicans have chosen Representative Jim Durkin of Western Springs as their new leader.

Durkin will replace Representative Tom Cross, who is going to run for State Treasurer.

Durkin was chosen after his only opponent, Springfield Rep. Raymond Poe, dropped out of the race.

Durkin later saluted his colleague and said he felt House Republicans are now more unified.

“Ray's the one who made the motion for the caucus to vote for my candidacy by acclimation,” said Durkin. “I can't say I never thought I'd be in this situation, but I've very excited about the challenges ahead but what I want to stress is that we are unified, we feel great. There was a lot of positive energy in that room."

Durkin said his ability to raise money and work with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle will make him an effective leader and move House Republicans out of their minority status.

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