John Cullerton

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John Cullerton
John Cullerton.jpg
President of the Illinois Senate
Assumed office
January 14, 2009
Preceded by Emil Jones Jr.
Member of the Illinois Senate from the 6th district
Assumed office
January 31, 1991
Member of the Illinois House of Representatives from the 7th district
In office
January 10, 1979 – January, 1991
Succeeded by Ann Stepan
Personal details
Born (1948-10-28) October 28, 1948 (age 66)
Chicago, Illinois
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Pam Cullerton
Children five
Residence Chicago, Illinois
Alma mater Loyola University Chicago
Profession attorney
Religion Roman Catholic
Military service
Service/branch Illinois National Guard
Years of service 1970–1976

John J. Cullerton is a Democratic member of the Illinois Senate, representing the 6th district since his appointment in 1991. He was elected President of the Illinois Senate in 2009.[1]

Early life[edit]

Cullerton is a native of Chicago. He received his bachelor’s degree in political science from Loyola University of Chicago, where he also earned his law degree. After graduating from law school, Cullerton served as a Chicago Assistant Public Defender. He went on to work at the law firm of Fagel and Haber.[2]

Political career[edit]

Illinois House[edit]

In 1979, he was elected to the Illinois General Assembly where he served for twelve years as a member of the House of Representatives. He served as President Pro Tempore and Democratic Floor Leader. According to Cullerton's campaign website, he sponsored the most bills and had the most bills passed of all legislators in the 93rd and 94th General Assemblies.[3]

Illinois Senate[edit]

After being appointed to fill Dawn Clark Netsch's seat in 1991, Cullerton was elected to the state senate in 1992 where he was appointed Senate Majority Caucus Whip. Cullerton has been recognized for sponsoring more bills than any other legislator and having more signed into law by the governor.[citation needed]

Cullerton spearheaded the state’s mandatory seat belt law and the Child Passenger Safety Act. To honor his contribution, Cullerton was awarded the “Buckle Up America Award” for the State and Local Government category.[citation needed]

Cullerton introduced the Neighborhood Homeowner Exemption Plan. This bill caps increases in the assessed value of property so that they can not increase by more than 7% in one year.[citation needed]

Cullerton has sponsored several pieces of legislation increasing gun control. He supported legislation that required gun owners to keep their weapons stored or locked out of reach from children. He also proposed a bill to close the loop hole that allows guns to be purchased at gun shows without following other existing gun sale regulations.[citation needed]

Cullerton is Democratic Co-Chairman on the Senate’s Judiciary Committee. Additionally, he serves on the Committee on Rules; Insurance and Pensions Committee; and Financial Institutions Committee.[citation needed]

Cullerton was chosen as the senate president by the Senate Democratic Caucus on November 19, 2008 to begin serving in 2009, replacing the retiring Emil Jones.[4] Cullerton defeated James Clayborne of Belleville in the battle for the post.[5]

His first legislative priority as senate president was to pass the first Capital Bill in 10 years, which allocated roughly $31 billion for public works projects and created tens of thousands of jobs[citation needed] in Illinois Public Act 096-0036 [1]. Cullerton led the senate during the impeachment trial, and subsequent removal, of former Governor Rod Blagojevich.[citation needed]

Cullerton served as a delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention.[6]

Other public service[edit]

Cullerton serves as a member of the board of directors at the Center for Disability and Elder Law, an organization that provides legal services for persons over 60 or with disabilities.[citation needed]

Professional career[edit]

Cullerton serves part-time as an Illinois state senator. Fagel Haber merged with Thompson Coburn LLP in 2007, and Cullerton continues as a partner [7] practicing in the areas of government relations, zoning, licensing, real estate tax assessment, and nonprofit law. Cullerton is a lobbyist registered with the City of Chicago,[8] and has in the past registered as a lobbyist with Cook County, Illinois.[9] Cullerton's clients include real estate developers, restaurants, and the National Safety Council.

Personal life[edit]

Cullerton and his wife, Pam, have five children together: Maggie, John III, Garritt, Kyle, Josephine.[10]

In 1979, he was elected "Mr. Wonderful", of the Illinois General Assembly in a competition among 17 legislators in a competition for charity sponsored by the Conference of Women Legislators.[11]

Cullerton co-owns a bar in Chicago, Tavern on Rush, with Illinois State Senator James DeLeo (D-Chicago) and others.[12]


  1. ^ Blagojevich oversees Senate swearing-in as impeachment trial looms, Chicago Tribune, Jan. 14, 2009.
  2. ^ Firm Profile.
  3. ^ "John Cullerton". Retrieved 2008-12-16. [dead link]
  4. ^ Rick Pearson and Ray Long Cullerton to lead Senate Chicago Tribune, November 20, 2008
  5. ^ Wills, Christopher (November 20, 2008). "John Cullerton Picked As Illinois Senate President". Associated Press. Retrieved 2008-12-04. 
  6. ^ Newman, Craig (2012-09-02). "Who are the Illinois delegates to the Democratic National Convention?". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2012-09-06. 
  7. ^ Thompson Coburn Attorney Profile.
  8. ^ Chicago Board of Ethics (2008-08-15). "List of Registered Lobbyists". Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  9. ^ Cook County Clerk, Ethics and Campaign Disclosure division (2007-12-03). "Active Cook Lobbyists and Clients". Retrieved 2008-08-19. [dead link]
  10. ^ Transcript of Cullerton's Inaugural Speech, January 2008
  11. ^ Brodmann, Ron and John Kennedy (1979-06-26). "In a sudden break with routine on his nine-day vi". The Washington Post (Newsbank). 
  12. ^ McKinney, Dave (2009-10-17). "State Sen. DeLeo shown sponsoring widow of mob associate". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2009-10-19. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Emil Jones
President of the Illinois Senate
2009 – present
Succeeded by