To the people of the 51st District:
As each election season approaches, every elected official must take time to reflect and self-examine before seeking another term. After many moments of reflection and discussions with my family, I have decided that, after seven terms as your representative from the 51st District, I will not seek reelection in 2016. The time has come for me to return to private life at the end of my current term and move on to different adventures.
Over the past thirteen years, it has been an honor to represent you through the many significant moments in our State’s history. Many decisions have not been easy, particularly with mounting fiscal problems and entrenched corruption. I am stepping away with pride, having fought to represent your interests throughout all of it.
I believe it is important to put new voices in Springfield. I agree with Governor Rauner that term limits are a necessary reform towards making Illinois great again in order to ensure that our government remains what Abraham Lincoln proclaimed it should be: of the people, by the people, and for the people. With that, rather than win reelection and then allow my successor to be appointed, I believe that it is better for the will of the people to be heard in an open election.
I plan to spend my time after leaving office with the people who have sustained me throughout my time as state representative: my family. My family is the center of my life, and has been the inspiration for my career in public service. My great-grandfather served as a state representative from McHenry, my father has been an active member of the Mundelein community on both the Mundelein High School Board and the Village Board, and my mother has served for years as a librarian at the Fremont Public Library. My wife, children, parents, and grandparents, as well as my sisters and their families, have been my top supporters through it all.
When I was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes two years ago, I realized that I needed to make changes in my life so that I can be there for my wife and young children, Trish, Kaileigh, and Finn, as they have been here for me. I look forward to serving many more terms as a husband and father.
It has been the honor of my life to serve as your representative in Springfield. I look forward to spending the remainder of my term working with Governor Rauner to make Illinois a better place, and continuing to be your friend and neighbor in the years to come.