Gov. Bruce Rauner said Friday he doesn't plan to get involved in replacing state Sen. Matt Murphy, a Palatine Republican and top ally who announced his resignation earlier this month.
"I'm not going to be particularly involved," Rauner said. "There's a process that will unfold. And local leaders very much control that process, and I assume they'll come up with a very good person."
Murphy doesn't leave the Illinois Senate until mid-September and it'll be up to local Republican officials to fill the seat for a term that ends in 2019. So far, state Reps. David Harris of Arlington Heights and Tom Morrison of Palatine are among those who could be considered.
Murphy's announcement put him in a sizable bipartisan group of state lawmakers who have either left the legislature during Rauner's first term or aren't running for re-election.
Last month, state Rep. Ron Sandack, a Downers Grove Republican, resigned suddenly citing "cyber security issues."
In the days after Murphy's and Sandack's announcements, Rauner said he was surprised by each and hadn't talked to either of the men.
On Friday, Rauner said he's now talked "very briefly" to both.
"Sen. Murphy said he wanted to get a little more family time," he said.
Rauner has a vested interest in Republicans doing well this November because some GOP victories will make it harder for Democrats to override his vetoes.
Among others leaving the legislature: Former Republican state Sen. Dan Duffy of Lake Barrington took a new job earlier this year, as did Democratic state Sen. Dan Kotowski of Park Ridge. Democratic state Rep. Jack Franks of Marengo bowed out of his re-election campaign to seek a McHenry County post. Republican state Reps. Ed Sullivan of Mundelein and Mike Tryon of Crystal Lake also aren't running for re-election.
Democratic state Sen. Mike Noland of Elgin ran for Congress and lost in the primary, sacrificing his Senate seat in the process.