David Harris Joins List of Illinois Lawmakers Calling it Quits

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."

What's that?

"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.

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