Durkin picks members of House GOP leadership team

2013-10-11T12:00:00Z Durkin picks members of House GOP leadership teamThe Associated Press The Associated Press
October 11, 2013 12:00 pm  • 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. | The new Republican leader in the Illinois House has named his leadership team.

Western Springs Rep. Jim Durkin kept most of the assistants who reported to Oswego Rep. Tom Cross, who left the top position in the chamber to run for Illinois treasurer after a 10-year stint.

Peoria Rep. David Leitch and Westmont Rep. Patti Bellock will be the chamber's deputy GOP leaders.

Leitch, who is the longest-serving Republican in the chamber, held the same position under Cross.

Durkin also picked six other assistant leaders— Rep. Dan Brady, of Bloomington, Chad Hays, of Danville, Bill Mitchell, of Forsyth, JoAnn Osmond, of Gurnee, and Mike Tryon, of Crystal Lake.

Meanwhile, Murphysboro Rep. Mike Bost will continue to be caucus chairman.

Leadership positions come with an extra bump in pay to lawmakers' base salary of $67,836 a year.

Members will begin work in their new roles Nov. 1, in time for the second scheduled week of the Legislature's annual fall veto session.

Durkin's August election to the post followed a summer-long internal scrum among Republicans, who continue to grow increasingly frustrated with Democrats' veto-proof majorities in the House and Senate.

The former prosecutor, 52, is known for his command of criminal law and his measured, if pointed, rebukes during debate on the House floor. He took the reins last month following a brief transition period with Cross.

Durkin's spokeswoman, Vicki Crawford, said more appointments of floor leaders are expected later Friday.

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