Embattled State Sen. Suzi Schmidt won't step down, but she won't seek re-election either.
Sen. Mark Kirk said Monday the move has "opened up the gate" for Republicans, and Illinois GOP party chairman Pat Brady in reaction to the news said, "We are going to win that seat."
Schmidt recently came under scrutiny after comments she made to a police dispatcher and officers during recent domestic disturbances at her home.
The Lake Villa Republican, representing the state's 31st District, was heard on a 911 tape released last month asking Lake County sheriff’s deputies during a call on Christmas Day not to respond to her home if her husband called them.
"I'm having a little problem with my husband right now," she was heard saying on the tape. "But it’s fine, so if he calls you, you can ignore him."
Under pressure from her party last month to resign, Schmidt refused and even said she would run again.
But in a statement released Monday, Schmidt said she needs to focus on her personal life.
“I deeply appreciate the encouragement I have received from friends and constituents over the past few weeks as I deal with personal issues and while I continue to work hard for the people of the 31st Senate District. I am grateful for the outpouring of support," Schmidt said in a statement. "However, at this point in my life, my personal life and my family are my priority, and I hope to dedicate more of my time with them in the coming months and years. Therefore, I will not be a candidate for re-election in 2012.”