Jim Durkin

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Jim Durkin
Minority Leader of the Illinois House of Representatives
Assumed office
August 29, 2013 (2013-08-29)
Preceded by Tom Cross
Member of the Illinois House of Representatives from the 82nd district
Assumed office
January 2006 (2006-01)
Preceded by Eileen Lyons
Member of the Illinois House of Representatives from the 82nd district
In office
January 1995 (1995-01) – January 2003 (2003-01)
Personal details
Born (1961-01-28) January 28, 1961 (age 53)
Westchester, Illinois
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Celeste Durkin
Residence Westchester, Illinois
Alma mater John Marshall Law School
Illinois State University
Profession Attorney
Religion Roman Catholic

Jim Durkin is a Republican member of the Illinois House of Representatives, representing the 82nd District since 2006 when he was sworn in to replace Eileen Lyons after she retired mid-term. He was elected on November 8, 2006, defeating Democrat Kim Savage. Durkin previously represented the 44th District from 1995 to 2002. In August 2013, he was elected the Minority Leader of the Illinois House of Representatives.[1]

U.S. Senate campaign[edit]

In 2002, Jim Durkin ran for U.S. Senate against incumbent Dick Durbin. Durkin is self-identifies as a fiscal conservative and a social moderate, although he says he is against both civil unions and marriage for gay couples in Illinois.[2] Jim Durkin received the Republican nomination with 46%, or 371,000 votes, defeating multi-millionaires Jim Oberweis and John H. Cox in the primary. He lost to Durbin in the general election, with 38%, or 1,302,000 votes.

Personal background[edit]

Jim Durkin was raised in the western Chicago suburb of Westchester and is a graduate of Divine Infant grade school and Fenwick High School. Jim attended Illinois State University in Bloomington-Normal and graduated in 1984 with a degree in Criminal Justice. Durkin continued his education at John Marshall Law School in Chicago, where he received his Juris Doctor degree in 1989. Durkin was an assistant Attorney General and an assistant Cook County State's Attorney where he served as a felony prosecutor and a special prosecutor in the narcotics unit. In 2000, Durkin was state chairman for U.S. Senator John McCain's presidential campaign in Illinois, and then in 2007, Illinois co-chair and national legislative co-chair for McCain's second presidential campaign. Durkin is on the board of trustees at the John Marshall Law School, and on the board of trustees for Misercordia Home in Chicago. Durkin lives in the western suburbs of Cook County with his wife Celeste, daughter and three step-daughters.[2] His brother, Thomas Durkin, is a federal judge on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.[3]

Electoral history[edit]

  • 2002 U.S. Senate election
  • 2006 Republican primary for State Rep. 82nd District
    • Jim Durkin 78.4%
    • William D. "Bill" Seith 21.6%
  • 2006 election for State Rep. 82nd District
    • Jim Durkin (R) 65%
    • Kim Savage (D) 35%

Gov. Blagojevich impeachment[edit]

Rep. Durkin served as ranking Republican on the Illinois House impeachment committee in December 2008-January 2009. U.S. Senator Roland Burris testified in front of the committee, but his testimony was called into question by a later Burris affidavit, in February 2009. Rep. Durkin was then quoted as saying "I can't believe anything that comes out of Mr. Burris at this point," and called for Sen. Burris' resignation.[4][5] Rep. Durkin also called for a criminal perjury investigation of Sen. Burris, and "scoffed at the notion that Mr. Burris had not been granted time to mention such relevant conversations or that lawmakers had moved on." The news report continued that "Republicans also questioned why it had taken Mr. Burris nearly a month to amend his testimony, and why lawmakers had not heard of the amendments until they were revealed on Saturday in The Chicago Sun-Times — more than a week after he sent them." Democrat Barbara Flynn Currie, chair of the impeachment committee, was the recipient of the follow-up affidavit. Sen. Burris filed it February 5 or so with Currie, so she became one of the objects of Republican questions and criticism over the delayed release of the information.[6]


  1. ^ http://capitolfax.com/2013/08/29/this-just-in-277/#comments
  2. ^ a b Republican Durkin pushes conservative agenda Edwardsville Intelligencer. Retrieved August 8, 2007
  3. ^ Hinz, Greg (May 22, 2012). "Durkin close to U.S. judgeship; Springfield moves a bit on Medicaid, pensions". Crain's Chicago Business. Retrieved February 14, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Burris Defends His Earlier Testimony Before Panel" by The Associated Press, Feb. 15, 2009, 7:15 p.m. ET. Retrieved 2-15-09.
  5. ^ "Illinois GOP leader calls on new Sen. Burris to resign after questions arise on his testimony" by Rupa Shenoy, Associated Press Writer, Feb. 15, 2009, 7:42 PM CST. Retrieved 2-15-09.
  6. ^ "Burris Defends His Evolving Description of Talks" by Monica Davey, The New York Times, Feb. 16, 2009, p. A9 NY edition. Retrieved 2-15-09.

External links[edit]