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Sullivan Won't Seek Re-election

Rich Egger
State Senator John Sullivan (D-Rushville) was first elected to the Illinois General Assembly in 2002 when he defeated incumbent Laura Kent Donahue (R-Quincy), 52% to 48%.

State Senator John Sullivan (D-Rushville) said he will not run for another term in the Illinois legislature. His seat is up for election in 2016.

In a brief release emailed Thursday evening, Sullivan said:

After careful thought and consideration I have decided to not seek re-election as Illinois State Senator for the 47th District in the 2016 election.

It is an honor to have earned the trust and support of so many people in Western Illinois and across the state. I will continue to work hard to represent and be a voice for my constituents in Springfield as I transition to the private sector.


Senator John Sullivan

In an interview with Tri States Public Radio, Sullivan said he will have served 14 years as a state senator by the end of his current term.

“I think it’s been a great run. I have no regrets. But there comes a time when you need to make a decision that it’s time to move on,” he said.

Sullivan said he still enjoys serving but won’t run for another public office.  He said he will rejoin the family auctioneering business.

Sullivan said he and his wife, Joan, have talked for months about whether he should continue serving in the legislature. “It was a very, very difficult decision. But once we made it, it certainly feels like it’s the right decision for us at this point in time,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan still has a year-and-a-half to go on his current term. He hoped lawmakers could reach a budget resolution “sooner rather than later” and said the governor and legislative leaders need to find a way to build some trust.

Sullivan said he has not talked to anyone about replacing him and hoped he’s giving potential candidates plenty of time to consider whether to run for the seat.

“I know it’s a surprise for a lot of folks,” Sullivan said.

“You just have to weigh all the good and the bad with the position and when it came right down to it we just said ‘This was the time’ and I feel good about that decision.”

Rich is TSPR's News Director.