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Longtime state Rep. Elaine Nekritz is resigning her seat in the Illinois House, she confirmed in an interview Friday with the Illinois News Network.
Nekritz, a Democrat from Northbrook, has served in the House since 2003. She said her greatest challenges in the past 15 years have been helping navigate the state through the Great Recession and beyond, and also working on the 2013 pension pension reform measure “and the frustration of working so hard on that and not actually seeing it go into effect” after it was ruled unconstitutional by the Illinois Supreme Court.
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Nekritz said the the 23-month-long state budget impasse has been a frustrating time, “but at the end of the day, for me, it felt like I was not going to [continue the frustrations] for the rest of my career and the rest of my life. It felt right for me.”
While it’s not the main reason she gave for not seeking another term, Nekritz said she hopes the budget impasse gets sorted out before next year.
“This whole situation has made me sad for our state and I always have to remain hopeful that people of good faith can put their differences aside and actually negotiate, and that’s what has to happen,” Nekritz said.
Nekritz notified Democratic Party leaders in her district in a letter.
“I will not be seeking re-election to the position in the 2018 election cycle and intend to leave at the appropriate time before the end of my term,” Nekritz, D-Northbrook, wrote.
Illinois State Board of Elections General Counsel Ken Menzel said party leaders in the district, not voters, will choose Nekritz's successor.
“Some people are familiar with kind of a midterm election to fill a vacancy for the remainder of a term. That usually occurs with an office of a four-year or longer term,” Menzel said. “With state representatives, their term is only two years long ..."
Nekritz said she hasn’t firmed up any plans beyond her time as a lawmaker.
“I know how important it is for this seat to continue to be represented by someone who shares our core goals and values, so I wanted to make sure you and the other members of our local Democratic Party had ample time to find the right person who will best represent our area,” Nekritz wrote to party leaders.
Earlier this month, Emily McAsey, D-Lockport, also resigned her House seat, and Republican Sen. Tim Bivins announced he won’t be seeking re-election in 2018.
Another Republican state senator is eyeing a possible exit – Kyle McCarter, R-Lebanon, was recommended to be President Donald Trump's ambassador to the African nation of Kenya, but that nomination hasn’t been officially announced.