After plenty of squabbles, negotiating, and even name-calling, it took less than an hour for House Republicans to elect Representative Jim Durkin of Western Springs as their new leader.
He was nominated by his top challenger for the job, Representative Raymond Poe of Springfield, and Durkin was selected by a vote of acclamation.
"I think that that speaks volumes about where this caucus is at in that there's no divisiveness, that we are a unified group, and we're going to use that energy to move forward, to win races and to get out of this super-minority," said Durkin.
Durkin said he will concentrate on increasing Republicans' numbers in the Illinois House, and on electing a Republican governor.
Durkin supports Senator Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale) in the four-way GOP primary race for governor.
Durkin has been in the Illinois House since 1995, except for a few years off following a failed bid for the U.S. Senate.
He's been a prosecutor, and played a key role in the impeachment of former Governor Rod Blagojevich.
Durkin replaces House Minority Leader Tom Cross of Oswego, who's expected to soon announce a run for state treasurer.