Durkin bids farewell to departing lawmakers

Top: Reps David Leitch, Don Moffitt & Michael Tryon
Bottom: Reps Dwight Kay, Ed Sullivan & Adam Brown
Remarks by House Republican Leader Jim Durkin to the Illinois House of Representatives on Republican lawmakers who will be leaving the General Assembly in January:

The Republican Caucus is sad to be losing the services of six well-respected members of this body who are retiring at the end of this General Assembly.

Between them, they have 92 years of experience serving their districts and the people of Illinois.

Rep. David Leitch
Rep. David Leitch is the senior member of our caucus.

He came to the House in 1989 after serving for several months in the Senate – filling out the term of the late Senator Prescott Bloom.

Before joining this body, Rep. Leitch had a long record of achievement. He helped with the referendum to create Illinois Central College; worked at the Peoria Journal Star; and got his degree from Kalamazoo College in Michigan. He was President of the Peoria Downtown Development Council and was Vice President of Commercial National Bank.

In the House, Rep. Leitch passed legislation requiring insurance coverage of mammograms. He worked on government reform, agricultural issues, and helping the mentally ill and developmentally disabled – including creating the Central Illinois Coalition for Mental Health Recovery, and securing funding for the Zeller Mental Health Center in Peoria.

Rep. Leitch became Assistant Republican Leader in 1993 and has been a Deputy Republican Leader since 2011.

We want to wish all the best to him and his children, Sarah, Ben and Elizabeth, and hope he will now have lots of time to spend with his four grandchildren.

Rep. Don Moffitt
Rep. Don Moffitt joined the House of Representatives in 1993.

He graduated from the University of Illinois, taught agriculture at his local high school, was an alderman, a county board member, a county treasurer, and then a state representative, all while maintaining his family farm in Gilson.

In the House, Rep. Moffitt earned a reputation as a friend of the fire service and our first responders. In fact, his contributions were so great that the Illinois Association of Fire Protection Districts named its Legislator of the Year award after him.

Rep. Moffitt co-chaired the EMS task force, the fire funding task force, and the General Assembly’s Fire Caucus.

When it comes to support of first responders, Rep. Moffitt is leaving enormous shoes to fill. But his list of legislative accomplishments doesn’t stop there: it includes legislation for farmers, local governments, and safer school buses.

Rep. Moffitt is going to be missed. We want to thank him and his family: his wife Carolyn, their children Londa, Justin and Amanda, and their eight grandchildren.

Rep. Ed Sullivan
Rep. Ed Sullivan has served in the House since 2003.

Also a University of Illinois graduate, Rep. Sullivan was an aide to Congressman Phil Crane and a township assessor in Lake County.

In this House, Rep. Sullivan has achieved distinction in his efforts to improve public safety. He passed the Illinois Anti-Gang Initiative in 2009, and he was the lead Republican negotiator as we worked to develop Illinois’ concealed carry law in 2013.

Rep. Sullivan is respected by both sides of the aisle, both for his bipartisan work and as a founding member of the Sullivan Caucus.

He has been honored by the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, the Farm Bureau, the Illinois Chamber, the Illinois Association of Park Districts and several others for his hard work on behalf of the people of the state.

In retirement from the House, Rep. Sullivan will have more time to devote to his extensive civic involvement in Lake County, and to his family: his wife Trish and his daughter Kaileigh and son Edwin.

Rep. Mike Tryon
Rep. Mike Tryon came to the House in 2005, representing McHenry and Kane Counties.

A graduate of Indiana State University, Rep. Tryon came to Illinois right out of college to work for the McHenry County Health Department. He then worked in small businesses in the environmental services field, before joining the McHenry County Board in 1989.

In the Illinois House, Rep. Tryon passed changes to the property tax law in his first term. It was a change that closed loopholes and saved taxpayers millions of dollars. He helped create the Illinois Transparency Portal to bring sunshine to the way our tax dollars are spent. And he wrote the legislation that created one of our country’s first veterans court systems to help veterans dealing with PTSD and other service-related issues. He was also one of the co-founders of the Diabetes Caucus in the General Assembly.

Rep. Tryon has been an Assistant Republican Leader since 2013. In recent years, he has helped secure vital transportation funding for McHenry County that led to projects like the Algonquin Bypass, widening Route 47 and building an interchange at Route 47 and Interstate 90.

We will miss Rep. Tryon and those sessions with the Boat Drink Caucus. We want to wish all the best to him, his wife Cathy and their son Jared, daughters Lauren and Lindsay, and his granddaughter.

Rep. Adam Brown
Rep. Adam Brown is retiring after three terms in the House. We know he has a bright future ahead of him: he started out his public service career in 2009 as the youngest member of the Decatur City Council and was one of the youngest members ever to serve in House Republican leadership.

Yet another U of I grad, Rep. Brown is an Edgar Fellow and was recently recognized as one of the Central Illinois Business Journal’s Top 20 under 40.

He has worked to create jobs and increase transparency in state government. In 2013, he worked across the aisle to pass an incentive package to bring the Cronus Chemicals facility to Tuscola, which will bring around 2000 construction jobs and $500 million in investments to east central Illinois.

A fifth-generation family farmer, after his six years here, Rep. Brown is retiring to lead B&B Farms and to have more time with his wife, Stephanie and their kids Elise and Kenton.

Rep. Dwight Kay
We are also losing the services of Rep. Dwight Kay.

Rep. Kay has served the people of the Metro-East for six years. He has been a strong voice for the kinds of improvements to our jobs climate that the state so sorely needs.

In that role, he has been our Republican spokesman on the Labor & Commerce and Business Growth and Incentives Committees.

Rep. Kay graduated from Taylor University. He is the Vice President of Cassens Transport in Edwardsville, the nation’s largest privately-held transport company, where he has worked since 1973. He is also a former Chairman of the National Automobile Transporters Association’s Claims Council.

We will miss Rep. Kay, and we wish all the best to him, his wife Nancy, their two children and grandchild.