State Sen. Dan Kotowski to resign in three weeks

 
 
Updated 9/15/2015 7:48 PM
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  • Dan Kotowski

    Dan Kotowski

State Sen. Dan Kotowski plans to step down from his seat in three weeks to take a job with a nonprofit focused on helping at-risk children and families.

The Park Ridge Democrat told the Daily Herald Tuesday he has accepted a post as president and CEO of ChildServ, based in Chicago.

His departure will open the door for local Democratic Party officials to select a replacement.

Kotowski said his move allows him to better serve the state's most vulnerable residents as well as spend more time at home with his two sons, Nate and Cooper, and his wife, Anne.

"The fact is," Kotowski wrote in a statement, "that there are many paths to choose. ... Whether it's as a state senator, the leader of a nonprofit or as a citizen advocate, I have many ways to make a direct and even more meaningful impact on the lives of others."

He said later that he had "every confidence" that his colleagues "can resolve the budget challenges that we face."

The current impasse between the Democratic-controlled legislature and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner on the state's budget has now entered its 11th week.

Kotowski, the former head of the Illinois Council on Handgun Violence, was first elected to the state Senate in 2006. One of the Senate's two appropriations chairmen, he also headed the bipartisan Budgeting for Results Commission and was the author of measures heightening transparency and accountability for government spending.

Kotowski said he was not closing the door on running for public office again.

He joins a few other suburban lawmakers who have announced intentions not to seek re-election. Republican state Sen. Dan Duffy said last week he wouldn't run, joining state Reps. Mike Tryon of Crystal Lake and Ed Sullivan of Mundelein.

Township Democratic Party chairmen representing Kotowski's 28th District will select a replacement through a weighted vote based on the most party votes cast in their townships in the last primary election. Officials have not yet released any names of possible replacements.

A leading contender could be Laura Murphy, a former Des Plaines alderman.

She says she's going to "give it a lot of thought" and won't rule it out.

Murphy is among the Democratic Party leaders who will get to vote to fill the seat, and her weighted vote ranks second among the committeemen. That gives her a leg up if she wants the seat.

Murphy works in alcohol and tobacco abuse prevention for the Illinois Liquor Control Commission and served two terms on the Des Plaines City Council, from 2001 to 2009.

Meanwhile, Democratic state Rep. Marty Moylan of Des Plaines said he was not at this point interested in making a Senate bid.

The district includes portions of Arlington Heights, Bartlett, Bloomingdale, Des Plaines, Elk Grove Village, Hanover Park, Hoffman Estates, Park Ridge, Roselle and Schaumburg.

• Daily Herald staff writers Mike Riopell and Jake Griffin contributed to this report.

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