State Rep. Dennis Reboletti is making a bid to move up to the Illinois Senate.
The Elmhurst Republican announced Wednesday that he is running for the seat that will be vacated by state Sen. Kirk Dillard, who is instead running for governor.
"With Senator Dillard leaving, it leaves a large void in the representation for the people of DuPage County. I believe that I will be the right person to fill that void," Reboletti said before making his official announcement during a Wednesday campaign event in Elmhurst.
Reboletti, 44, has served in the Illinois House since 2007 and represents the 45th House District. He said he's spent his time in Springfield opposing tax increases and getting new laws enacted that improve public safety.
In order to run for Senate, Reboletti can't seek re-election to his House seat. Still, he thought it was more important to try to represent the 24th Senate District.
"Knowing that was an open seat, I was concerned about what may happen to it," Reboletti said. "I want to make sure the seat remains in Republican hands and that we continue forward with the message of lower taxes and less government and protecting the quality of life for DuPage County."
It's too soon to tell if Reboletti will face a Republican opponent during the March primary. One person considering a bid is former state Rep. Chris Nybo, who was Dillard's opponent for Senate in the 2012 primary.
"I have not decided," Nybo said on Wednesday. "I will begin the process of collecting signatures to get on the ballot. I'm giving it a lot of thought, but I haven't made a final decision yet."
Reboletti said he's going to run his campaign like he's facing multiple opponents.
In a show of support, Reboletti's announcement was attended by a who's who of DuPage Republicans, including state Sen. Michael Connelly, state Reps. Patricia Bellock and Ron Sandack, Sheriff John Zaruba and State's Attorney Robert Berlin.
"Dennis has a proven track record of getting things done in Springfield," said Berlin, adding Reboletti has been able to work with the Democrats. "He is without a doubt the most qualified candidate to replace Kirk Dillard."
During the event, Reboletti even received an endorsement from Dillard himself.
"Dennis is tested and proven," Dillard said. "He knows the suburbs well. He is a respected, known figure in Springfield that knows how to serve his constituents on a daily basis every day out of his district office. You could not have a better senator in terms of stature than a Dennis Reboletti."
Even if Reboletti doesn't face a GOP opponent during the primary, he's expected to encounter a Democratic challenger in the fall 2014 election.
Addison Township GOP Chairman Pat Durante said the Democrats have a lot of money they could spent to try to take the Senate seat. But, he said, it would be "foolish" for them to make the attempt.
"This is one of the best Republican districts in the county," Durante said. "I don't they would do it to expect to win here."
The 24th District includes all or parts of Clarendon Hills, Darien, Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Glen Ellyn, Hinsdale, Lisle, Lombard, Oak Brook, Oakbrook Terrace, Villa Park, Westmont, Wheaton and Willowbrook.