State

Tryon among Durkin picks for GOP leadership team

SPRINGFIELD – The new Republican leader in the Illinois House has named his leadership team.

Western Springs Rep. Jim Durkin kept most of the assistants who reported to Oswego Rep. Tom Cross, who left the top position in the chamber to run for Illinois treasurer after a 10-year stint.

Peoria Rep. David Leitch and Westmont Rep. Patti Bellock will be the chamber's deputy GOP leaders.

Leitch, who is the longest-serving Republican in the chamber, held the same position under Cross.

Durkin also picked six other assistant leaders – Rep. Dan Brady of Bloomington, Chad Hays of Danville, Bill Mitchell of Forsyth, JoAnn Osmond of Gurnee, and Mike Tryon of Crystal Lake.

Meanwhile, Murphysboro Rep. Mike Bost will continue to be caucus chairman.

Leadership positions come with an extra bump in pay to lawmakers' base salary of $67,836 a year.

Members will begin work in their new roles Nov. 1, in time for the second scheduled week of the Legislature's annual fall veto session.

Durkin's August election to the post followed a summer-long internal scrum among Republicans, who continue to grow increasingly frustrated with Democrats' veto-proof majorities in the House and Senate.

The former prosecutor, 52, is known for his command of criminal law and his measured, if pointed, rebukes during debate on the House floor. He took the reins last month following a brief transition period with Cross.

Durkin's spokeswoman, Vicki Crawford, said more appointments of floor leaders are expected later today.

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