Jim Durkin

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Jim Durkin
Minority Leader of the Illinois House of Representatives
Assumed office
August 29, 2013
Preceded byTom Cross
Member of the Illinois House of Representatives
from the 82nd district
Assumed office
January 2006
Preceded byEileen Lyons
Personal details
James Brian Durkin

(1961-01-28) January 28, 1961 (age 58)
Westchester, Illinois, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Celeste Durkin
Children1 daughter; 3 stepdaughters
RelativesThomas M. Durkin (Brother)
EducationIllinois State University (BA)
John Marshall Law School (JD)

James Brian Durkin (born January 28, 1961) 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 January 1995 to January 2003. In August 2013, he was elected the Minority Leader of the Illinois House of Representatives.[1]

Personal background[edit]

Jim Durkin was raised in Westchester, one of eight brothers. He attended Divine Infant grade school and Fenwick High School. He later attended Illinois State University in Bloomington-Normal and graduated in 1984 with a degree in Criminal Justice.[2] He continued his education at John Marshall Law School in Chicago, where he received his Juris Doctor degree in 1989. He served as an assistant Illinois 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.[2]

In 2000, he served as state chairman for U.S. Senator John McCain's presidential campaign in Illinois,[3] 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 Western Springs, Illinois with his wife Celeste, daughter and three step-daughters.[2][4]

His brother, Thomas, is a federal judge on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.[5]

U.S. Senate campaign[edit]

In 2002, Jim Durkin ran for U.S. Senate against incumbent Dick Durbin. Durkin self-identified as a fiscal conservative and a social moderate.[4] 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.[6]

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%

Governor Blagojevich impeachment[edit]

Representative 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. Representative Durkin was then quoted as saying "I can't believe anything that comes out of Mr. Burris at this point," and called for Senator Burris' resignation.[7][8]

Durkin called for a criminal perjury investigation of Senator 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. Senator 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.[9]


  1. ^ Profile, capitolfax.com; accessed December 11, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Representative Jim Durkin (R) 82nd District, my.ilga.gov; accessed December 11, 2014.
  3. ^ Sweet, Lynn (January 1, 2002). "Left to Chance: Republicans won't get a double punch at the top of the ticket in November". NPR. Retrieved February 18, 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Republican Durkin pushes conservative agenda". Edwardsville Intelligencer. Archived from the original on 2003-09-22. Retrieved August 8, 2007.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ [1]. Retrieved March 26, 2015
  7. ^ "Burris Defends His Earlier Testimony Before Panel", nytimes.com, February 15, 2009; retrieved December 11, 2014.
  8. ^ "Illinois GOP leader calls on Sen. Burris to resign". ABC 7 New York. Associated Press. February 16, 2009. Retrieved 2018-05-19.
  9. ^ Monica Davey, "Burris Defends His Evolving Description of Talks", nytimes.com, February 16, 2009, p. A9; accessed December 11, 2014.

External links[edit]

Illinois House of Representatives
Preceded by
Tom Cross
Minority Leader of the Illinois House of Representatives