Wow, this is some real news. First Susan Garrett decides not to run again for State Senate, and now Karen May announces she will not run in 2012 for the 58th State Rep. District.
Are all the incumbent Dems anticipating that they will be getting a whuppin' in 2012? What happened to the Dem-controlled remap that was supposed to further entrench these incumbents for the next 10 years. Crazy, man, crazy.
So far, two Republican have announced for this race - former State Senate Candiate and businessman Keith Gray, and Mark G. Neerhof, DO. Much more on this race, which has now instantly become a hot one, as we go on.
Here's May's e-mail to supporters and press release:
I want to share with you the news that I have decided not to run for re-election in 2012 and to thank you for your support over the past decade. It was a very difficult decision because I love serving the citizens of this district and working in Springfield for the issues that are important to us. With your help, we have had many successes, but without the distraction of a campaign, I can concentrate on completing my legislative agenda in the next 15 months. G-d willing, I intend to sprint across the finish line. Thank you for being the wind beneath my wings.
News…from State Representative Karen May
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, September 28, 2011
State Rep. Karen May: Not Running for Re-Election Highland Park Lawmaker Will Complete 12 Years of Service in Capitol
Highland Park, IL- State Rep. Karen May, D-Highland Park, on Wednesday announced she will not seek re-election next fall to the post she has held since January 2001.
After serving as a member of the Highland Park City Council and Highland Park Historic Preservation Commission, May first took office as state representative after winning election to the office in November 2000. Area voters have re-elected her overwhelmingly since then, but after serving more than a decade in the Legislature, May decided now is the time to finish her legislative tenure.
“I’m so grateful for the opportunities I’ve had to serve my community in a number of ways over the years, and having the honor of representing people as their advocate in our state’s capitol certainly tops the list,” May said. “This job allows you to have such an incredible impact on people’s lives. It has been a lot of hard work, but so gratifying and rewarding.”
Since taking office, May has maintained a full-time constituent service office to help meet the needs of local residents. May said that public service begins at home, and that helping to improve access to often complicated government programs has been a priority for her.
“Helping people navigate state bureaucracy and deliver critical services is the most important part of being in public office,” May said. “I’ve strived to be open and accessible. Our jobs involve an incredible amount of constituent service and with the help of an amazing and dedicated local staff we were able to provide resources for people to get the help they need.”
With more than 10 years in office, May has worked on a number of legislative issues, including environmental protection, ethics reform, property tax relief, common sense gun control laws, better access to more affordable health care and state budget reforms.
In light of exponentially growing state pension liabilities, May has spearheaded changes to the state’s pension laws to rein in abuses. Last year, she pushed for significant pension reforms, including banning those receiving public pensions from also receiving taxpayer-paid salaries and reducing the maximum pensions that retired public employees may receive. The reforms in the law are expected to save the state as much as $100 billion over the next 40 years. May has also pushed for new limits on pensions this year by passing legislation to stop abuses at the local level.
As the leader of the Green Caucus in the General Assembly, May has also fought aggressively for tougher laws protecting Illinois’ natural resources and ending the production of harmful consumer products. To remove mercury – a powerful neurotoxin that can critically harm the nervous system and lead to serious brain and nerve damage – from the environment, May passed a law creating a program to capture mercury switches from end-of-life vehicles before they are destroyed. The Illinois EPA believes the plan could prevent the release of up to 400 pounds of mercury a year. May has also passed laws that ban the sale or distribution of medical devices that contain mercury, including blood pressure cuffs, and require all elementary and secondary schools in Illinois to purchase environmentally-sensitive cleaning supplies that do not expose students and teachers to harmful chemicals.
As the economy tanked and state revenues declined, May was a leading advocate of budget reforms that tightened up government costs and demanded the state spend no more than it takes in. She has consistently opposed pay hikes for legislators and helped pass state budgets that reject pay raises for lawmakers.
May looks forward to actively representing the 58th district during the remainder of her term.
“I am grateful for the support of the community that has elected me for six terms and I will continue to provide the representation and services that the district deserves.”
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