State Representative Kathy Ryg will resign her position in the General Assembly to take the position of President of Voices for Illinois Children. Here's the official press release off the organization's website.
That gives GOP front-runner Dan Sugrue quite a boost, but it may also open the floodgates for additional contenders who didn't quite have the guts to enter the race when it looked like Ryg was the opponent.
On the Dem side, wonder who they will appoint to fill the remainder of her term. Whomever it is will have a leg up on the Dem nomination, unless the plan is to nominate a place-holder and let the primary be a free-for-all. Given how things are shaking out in the popular 10th Congressional District race, I would expect plenty of competition on both sides to come in.
However, the smart money is that Ryg has already got someone in mind that Michael Madigan has blessed. Given Ryg's new position is likely to have a heavy lobbying component that will be looking for state support, she's not going to leave Madigan in the lurch without a good candidate who can keep the 59th District in Dem hands. However, someone else told me this morning that Ryg is pretty much taking off from the GA and not giving it much of a look back, so we'll see.
Look for Madigan to spend as much as he needs to in order to keep this seat. Heavy Dem spending on this race may also have a ripple effect in other local races, including the 10th District Congressional race.
I should add that it's nice to see a Democrat resign from office for a reason other than scandal, for a change. We didn't like Kathy's politics, but we liked her as a person, so we wish her the best of luck in her new position.
UPDATED 12:40 p.m.: The Daily Herald has a story up, with a quote from Dan Sugrue.