YORKVILLE – The woman who has represented central Kane County in the Illinois General Assembly for years has announced she will not seek another term in office.
Wednesday, State Rep. Kay Hatcher, R-Yorkville, told supporters at her annual Summer Soiree event that she intends to step aside from the Illinois House of Representatives when her current term expires in early 2015.
She also announced the news in an emailed newsletter.
On Thursday, Hatcher said she decided to leave the General Assembly after her husband opted to retire.
"This was a family decision," Hatcher said. "I said, 'I am not going to be 70 years old and working when my husband is not.' "
Hatcher has served in the state House since 2009 in the 50th House District, which covers northern Kendall County and central Kane County, including Sugar Grove, Blackberry and Campton townships. Hatcher was re-elected in 2010 and 2012.
In the next year and a half, Hatcher said she intends to "raise the roof" in Springfield, tackling issues such as public worker pensions and Medicaid.
However, she said her primary target in coming days will be working to defeat a progressive income tax, which she said would "strangle folks in this district."
Local elected leaders, including Kane County Board members Drew Frasz, R-Elburn, and Melisa Taylor, R-Sugar Grove, among others, credited Hatcher with good work as a state representative.
"She'll be sorely missed," said Sugar Grove Village President Sean Michels. "Whoever replaces her will have big shoes to fill."
Hatcher's departure opens the door to challengers who might wish to claim her seat in the heavily Republican district.
Kane County Republican Party Chairman Barb Wojnicki said she believes up to six candidates could step into the 2014 GOP primary race.
Kendall County Republican Party Chairman Scott Gryder said he also has heard some names rumored. To this point, however, he said only Kendall County Board member Matt Prochaska has vocally expressed interest in the race to him.
In Kane County, Taylor and Michels said Thursday they are considering entering the race.
"I'm not ruling it out, but I'm not ruling it 100 percent in," said Taylor, noting such a decision would be "life-changing."
Michels said he only learned of Hatcher's pending departure on Thursday morning, and had yet to discuss a possible run with his family.
Frasz said Thursday he was not interested in running for the seat, as serving as a Republican in Sprinfield would be too "frustrating" and the election cycle "grueling."
Elburn Village Trustee and one-time congressional candidate Ethan Hastert has told the Kane County Chronicle in recent weeks he would not run, despite assertions to the contrary circulated on social media.
However, Hastert did not respond to questions on the matter Thursday after Hatcher's announcement.