As a village trustee and county board member, John Curran saw firsthand the challenges local governments face because of mandates -- often unfunded -- from the state.
Curran says he will bring that knowledge and experience to Springfield as a new state senator.
The 44-year-old Downers Grove resident stepped down Monday as vice chairman of the DuPage County Board. He was scheduled to be sworn in Monday night to the state Senate seat left vacant by the resignation of Christine Radogno, a Lemont Republican.
Curran will represent the 41st District, which includes all or parts of Burr Ridge, Darien, Downers Grove, Lisle, Willowbrook, Woodridge, Naperville, Bolingbrook, Lemont, Indian Head Park, LaGrange, Western Springs and Homer Glen.
"I want to continue Christine's tradition of giving the 41st District a strong voice in the Illinois Senate," he said Monday.
Curran has served as a DuPage board member representing District 3 since 2008, most recently as vice chairman since 2012. He was a Woodridge village trustee from 2005 to 2008.
He said he loved his position on the county board and wasn't thinking about leaving until Radogno announced late last month she would give up her seat. Radogno, who served the 41st District since 1997, was among several moderate lawmakers who resigned in the wake of the state's budget impasse.
"We suffered a lot at the local level from state mandates," Curran said. "There's also inaction from the state that has caused a lot distress at the local level. That needs to stop. That is part of my motivation to go down there."
A committee that included DuPage County Republican Chairman Brian Krajewski, Will County Republican Chairwoman Kathy Havel and two GOP leaders from Cook County picked Curran to complete the remainder of Radogno's term.
"We had three extremely qualified finalists," Krajewski said. "It was a difficult decision. All three of them had great experience. But we came to a consensus that John would be the best fit down in Springfield."
Unlike his influential role on the GOP-dominated county board, Curran will be in the minority party in the Senate.
"That will certainly be a big challenge," he said. "I have never been one to shirk away from challenges."
Curran says he has a history of working in a bipartisan fashion with Democrats on the county board.
In 2011, he championed a plan that prevents new DuPage County employees from receiving large cash payouts for unused sick days they stockpile through the years. It also reduced the number of sick and vacation days county employees can accrue.
"I believe I have the skill set to achieve greater policy results for the future of our state," he said.
Curran must seek election to the seat next year.
In the meantime, DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin is planning to name his choice for Curran's replacement on the county board within the next 60 days. The full county board then will take a vote on the appointment.
Republicans living in District 3 who are interested in the position should email Cronin at Dan.Cronin@dupageco.org with a resume and letter, not exceeding 300 words, outlining their interest.
District 3 includes all or parts of Bolingbrook, Burr Ridge, Clarendon Hills, Darien, Downers Grove, Hinsdale, Lemont, Naperville, Westmont, Willowbrook and Woodridge.