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Kotowski to quit state Senate, head up nonprofit helping kids

State Sen. Dan Kotowski, D-Park Ridge, speaks to lawmakers while on the Senate floor last week. (AP File Photo/Seth Perlman)

State Sen. Dan Kotowski announced Tuesday that he will resign in three weeks, taking up a post as president of a nonprofit to help at-risk children and families.

Kotowski, D-Park Ridge, will serve as president and CEO of ChildServ.

“I am honored to take the helm of this respected organization and look forward to ensuring that ChildServ be a catalyst for change as it makes even more of a difference in the lives of children,” Kotowski said in a statement.

He’ll step down as senator on Oct. 5.

ChildServ provides community-based programs to underserved children and families in Cook, Lake and DuPage counties. Services range from family support groups to group home for youth in Lisle, Naperville and Downers Grove, according to the nonprofit’s website.

His resignation comes amid a messy budget stalemate, but in his statement Kotowski thanked Senate President John Cullerton “for his leadership and his trust” in his ability to help lead the budget process in the Senate.

“I will miss him and the rest of my colleagues greatly,” Kotowski said.

Kotowski told the Sun-Times the budget impasse didn’t factor into his plans.

“It did not. This is really an opportunity to be able to work with children who are at risk in a very direct and meaningful way while also being able to take care of my family better. This job gives me an opportunity to continue to do public service while also being able to take better care of my family, to be around more as a father,” Kotowski said.

Kotowski served as the Senate Appropriations Chairman. The former head of the Illinois Council on Handgun Violence was elected to the Senate in 2006.

“As rewarding as this work has been, there are many paths to choose in confronting our state’s challenges, and I have a new opportunity to serve people in a very direct and meaningful way,” Kotowski said in the statement. “Whether it’s a state senator or the leader of a nonprofit, I can, as President Harry Truman once said, ‘… help the human family achieve the decent, satisfying life that is the right of all people.’”

Democratic Party leaders in Kotowski’s 28th District will select his replacement through a weighted vote. That includes DuPage County Democratic Chairman Robert Peickert and Democratic committeemen from Schaumburg, Maine, Elk Grove and Hanover Townships and the 41st Ward of Chicago.

The appointee will need to run in next year’s election to hold on to the seat beyond the end of Kotowski’s current term.