New Republican leader “absolutely” supports incumbents in primaries

New Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs says he'll back incumbent lawmakers that have primary election challenges next year even if their views are at odds with his own.

Among suburban Republicans so far, state Rep. Ed Sullivan of Mundelein is facing a potential opponent in the primary over his backing of same-sex marriage. State Rep. Sandra Pihos of Glen Ellyn has a primary challenger in attorney Lombard Trustee Peter Breen.

“I support every one of my incumbents, absolutely,” said Durkin, who was sworn in as the Illinois House's top Republican today.

“We're going to disagree on issues,” Durkin said. “But ... I will do everything I can to make sure that the incumbents that I am serving with will be nominated in March.”

Durkin replaces Rep. Tom Cross of Oswego, who is running for state treasurer.

Candidates have to file petitions to run for office by the beginning of December for the March 18 primary.

Cross considers statewide office, could leave leadership

Illinois House Republicans pick Durkin as leader

Durkin looks to ease divides in leader’s role

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