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Jim Durkin clinches GOP minority leader spot in House after Poe withdraws

State Rep. Jim Durkin has clinched the GOP minority leader spot in the Illinois House, according to Republican members attending today’s meeting in Springfield.

Durkin, 52, a Western Springs Republican, told the Sun-Times on Wednesday he was confident he had more than the necessary votes needed to win.

Perhaps seeing the writing on the wall, Durkin’s competition for the position, Springfield Republican Raymond Poe, pulled out of contention today, giving Durkin the position by acclamation. Poe withdrew and nominated Durkin today.

The opening comes after longtime House Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) relinquished his post as he announced he is considering a bid for Illinois Treasurer.

Durkin first told the Sun-Times in May he was interested in making a move for minority leader.

Those close to Durkin said he was feeling confident this morning as his unofficial vote tally surpassed 30.

In an interview with the Sun-Times earlier this year, Durkin a former prosecutor and current corporate litigation attorney, put aside talk that he was interested in a run for Illinois Attorney General, instead announcing: “I am pursuing the position as House Minority Leader, if and when that vacancy occurs — that may be in the near future,” Durkin said.