BATAVIA – Another member of Kane County’s state legislative delegation has announced that he will not seek another term representing the Tri-Cities region in Springfield.
Friday morning, State Rep. Tim Schmitz, R-Batavia, said he intends to make this current term his last in the Illinois General Assembly.
Schmitz first announced the news on his Facebook page, and he confirmed it in a phone conversation. In his Facebook post, Schmitz said he reached the decision after “long talks with my family” following the death of “a very close family member after a brief illness.”
Schmitz’s father recently died.
Reached by phone later in the morning, Schmitz said each year he would discuss with his family whether he should continue his work as a lawmaker.
“But this year, it was more of, ‘Why should I go again?’ ” Schmitz said. “So I called my wife this morning and told her, ‘I’m doing it.’
“It just feels right. After 16 years in the House, this is the time to do something different.”
Schmitz first was elected to the House in 1999, eventually moving into the post of assistant Republican leader, working beside House Republican Leader Tom Cross, R-Oswego.
Cross recently announced his decision to run for Illinois treasurer in 2014. Schmitz’s current term ends January 2015.
Schmitz said he will leave Springfield with “not one regret” over his service.
“I feel really good about my time in Springfield,” he said. “Anyone crazy enough to run for it, I recommend it.”
He said he has no plans at this point for what will come next.
“People are saying, ‘Oh, you have a job lined up,’ ” Schmitz said. “But I’m still in Springfield for a while yet. I’m just not going to be on the ballot in March and November next year.”
Schmitz’s announcement marks the second time a member of the local legislative delegation has opted to step out of Springfield. Earlier this summer, State Rep. Kay Hatcher, R-Yorkville, who represents southwestern Kane County, announced she also will not seek re-election.
Local politicians said Schmitz’s announcement surprised them. They also lamented his pending departure.
State Rep. Robert Pritchard, R-Hinckley, who represents a large portion of western Kane County, said Schmitz had served as “a good mentor” to him during their 10 years together in the House.
“I had hoped we could all stay in the fray and make a difference in the next couple of years,” Pritchard said.
Pritchard said he intends to seek re-election in 2014.
State Sen. Karen McConnaughay, R-St. Charles, said Schmitz’s departure would mark a loss for the region, as Schmitz “did a lot for his district and the county.”
And Batavia Mayor Jeff Schielke said Schmitz’s pending departure from the state legislature was “a bad day for Batavia.”
“He’s been an important voice for us as he has earned his leadership credentials,” Schielke said.
All said it was too soon to speculate as to who might step into the race to succeed Schmitz, as his announcement was unexpected. However, they said they believed a number of candidates would likely step forward in coming weeks.