The start of state Sen. Kirk Dillard's term as RTA chairman will signal the earlier-than-expected end to his more than 20-year career in the Illinois Senate.
Dillard told reporters Wednesday that he'll step down from his Senate seat in late July before his Aug. 1 starting date with the Regional Transportation Authority.
"I need 30 days to have a smooth transition and take care of constituent matters for the people I've been honored to represent in the western suburbs for quite a while," said Dillard, who was elected chairman Wednesday by the RTA board.
After his run for governor that ended in a March primary loss, Dillard was already set to depart the Senate in January. Republican Chris Nybo of Elmhurst and Democrat Suzanne Glowiak of Western Springs are running for the Senate seat.
Now, though, DuPage County Republicans can fill the remainder of Dillard's term.
"I also want to talk to the officials of the state Senate and Senate leadership to understand what the paperwork and the transition process will be," Dillard said. "Obviously, as a Republican I need to talk to the people who will appoint and fill my seat."
Wayne Township Republican leader Randy Ramey said the choice falls to county party Chairman Darlene Ruscitti, who can confer with other party leaders when making the pick.
"I assume that Mr. Nybo will put his name in the hat," Ramey said.
Nybo didn't say if he would but praised Dillard.
"He will do a fantastic job as RTA chairman," Nybo said in an email. "I look forward to helping him however I can; and (as a daily Metra rider like him) I look forward to better Metra service under his leadership."