State Representative David Harris (R-53), after long talks with his wife and two grown sons, said he will not run for re-election in 2018 and there's a reason why.
"Partisanship and bitterness, the fight within the Republican party here and elsewhere will weaken us," he told NBC 5 Tuesday night. "I want to be effective and I'm not sure I can be that now."
Harris was among a small but powerful block of Illinois lawmakers who broke this summer with Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner and the GOP to vote in favor of a budget and tax increase that ended a more than two-year stalemate, arguably saving the state from descent into junk bond status.
Harris, 68, has had a distinguished career in government.
First elected to the House in 1983, he served 10 years. Then-governor George Ryan appointed him Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard and Harris served in Iraq in 2005-2006, retiring with the US Army rank of Major General.
He returned to the legislature in 2010 and built a reputation as an expert on budget and finance.
Understanding finance as he does, Harris said he figures he would need to raise half a million dollars to run again in what would inevitably be a bitterly fought primary.
Now, instead, he said he's thinking of forming the "YLLD Club in the legislature."
"The Year Long Lame Duck Club," Harris said.
He joins the ranks of a bipartisan club of more than two dozen colleagues in the House and Senate who are also calling it quits in 2018.