Elgin state senator talks of his future after election loss
Come next January, state Sen. Mike Noland of Elgin will find himself out of office for the first time in 10 years.
Noland, 55, lost his Democrat primary bid for the 8th Congressional District to Raja Krishnamoorthi Tuesday. Running for that office meant he gave up his seat representing the Senate's 22nd District, to which he was elected in 2006.
His plan is to focus on his law practice in Elgin, where he lives with his wife Veronica, a member of the Elgin Area School District U-46 board, he said.
"I have maintained a very limited private practice even while I've been in the General Assembly. It certainly seems I'm going to have time to expand that practice in the near future," he said, adding, "I have no plans to hire attorneys. If attorneys would like to hire me, I'm open to suggestions."
An Elgin High School graduate and U.S. Navy veteran, Noland has lived in Elgin since age 16 -- and has no plans to leave, he said. "I'm dug in."
Noland said that "at this time" he's not planning to run for office. He also put to rest any speculation he might run for the Elgin City Council, a race he lost in 2005. "I've been down that road," he said. "I'd much rather do gardening."
In the next nine months Noland said he'll focus on pushing for tax reform legislation to bring property tax relief while relying more on income and sales tax revenues. "We may actually pass it (the legislation) in the next several months, if the leaders come to an accord," he said.
He's most proud of sponsoring an Illinois constitutional amendment to allow the recall of a governor, which voters approved in a referendum question in 2010. "Not many legislators are able to say they actually have the chance to amend our state's constitution."
He also helped bring back additional funds to Elgin Area School District U-46, and helped secure funding for major capital projects in the district, such as Riverside Promenade in Elgin and the Interstate 90/Barrington Road interchange, he said.
"My record over the nine years defending a woman's right to choose, helping passing, voting for and fighting for civil unions and marriage equality, that was history legislation. I'm very proud of that."
Democrat Cristina Castro won Tuesday's primary for the 22nd Senate District. No Republicans ran in the race; a candidate can be slated until May 31.
Castro said Noland is among her political mentors, and taught her the value of hard work and knocking on as many doors as possible.
"He has always prided himself in putting his district first, and the needs of his district first ahead of regular politics," she said. "I hope to improve upon that and do much of that, if not more. I plan to set the bar high as well."
Noland said he'll work to support Castro and other Democrat candidates in his role as central committeeman for the 8th Congressional District.