Longtime legislator McCarthy retires
By Mike Nolan firstname.lastname@example.org December 28, 2011 12:36PM
Updated: January 30, 2012 10:25AM
Longtime state Rep. Kevin McCarthy (D-Orland Park) said he has stepped down as of Tuesday.
McCarthy, a legislator for 15 years, did not cite a specific reason for his retirement in a letter his office issued Tuesday.
He said he arrived at the decision “after much thoughtful consideration” and that “this is the right decision for me and my family.”
Orland Park Mayor Dan McLaughlin said McCarthy had been a great asset to the southwest suburbs. He said the legislator called him a couple of weeks ago “to say he was thinking of resigning in the next couple of weeks,” then followed up with a more recent phone call confirming his decision.
McLaughlin said McCarthy didn’t go into specifics about why he was stepping down.
“He referred to it being time to make a change,” the mayor said.
Re-elected to his eighth term in November 2010, McCarthy, an Orland Park resident, most recently sponsored legislation to reform state public pension systems, as well as an energy bill on behalf of ComEd. That measure was designed to spur the company’s investment in modernizing the electric grid, but it was criticized by consumer groups and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan as giving ComEd too much leeway in raising electric rates.
Selecting a replacement to serve out the remainder of McCarthy’s term would fall to the Democratic township committeemen in the 37th District, who would each have a weighted vote, according to Steve Brown, a spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago).
Brown said that Madigan “had a lot of respect” for McCarthy, who proved to be “a very competent member of the House” who “dealt with a lot of complicated issues.”
McLaughlin, Orland Township’s Democratic committeeman, said he will serve as chairman of the selection committee because the township has the majority of the weighted vote.
“I am currently working on a process, including a short questionnaire, that will be open to anyone in the 37th District to apply,” McLaughlin said in an email.
He said his intent is to “have someone in place, trained and ready” to take over McCarthy’s duties when legislators return to Springfield at the end of January.