State Rep. David McSweeney, a vocal critic of taxes and his own Republican leader, said Thursday he won’t seek reelection and will instead focus on either a run for Illinois secretary of state or the U.S. Senate in 2022.
McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills, said he plans to finish his two-year term and is exploring the creation of a super PAC to support a statewide bid. He first took office in 2013.
“I’m very likely going to run for statewide office,” McSweeney said. “And I would look at the Duckworth U.S. Senate seat if Secretary of State Jesse White does run again. You never know. Jesse’s popular.”
Democrat Tammy Duckworth won her U.S. Senate seat in 2016 after serving in Congress.
White — the state’s longest serving secretary of state — last month said said he won’t seek reelection in 2022. But the 85-year-old Democrat has toyed with retiring before and later decided to run again.
McSweeney said White’s seat would give him “the ability to make even further efficiencies with the Secretary of State’s office” as well as a platform to continue to focus on lowering taxes in the state.
The Republican lawmaker said he plans to step down as a state representative so he can fully commit to campaigning. He said he’ll also stay involved in fighting Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s graduated income tax.
“It’s going to take a full two years to put together a formidable campaign, and it wouldn’t be fair to my constituents to be campaigning and doing events outside of the district.”
McSweeney has been a vocal critic of his own Republican leader, House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs, who just announced his own reelection bid.
McSweeney said he has “zero relationship” with Durkin.
“I did not [contact him], and I’m not going to,” McSweeney said.
Asked for comment on McSweeney’s departure, Durkin spokeswoman Eleni Demertzis said, “We wish him well.”
McSweeney ran for Congress in 2006 in the 8th Congressional District, ultimately losing to incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Melissa Bean.
McSweeney’s decision was first reported on CapitolFax.com.