For Immediate Release – July 5, 2018
After nearly 20 years as a State Representative in the Illinois General Assembly, Patti Bellock announced on July 2, 2018 that she would be resigning from her State Representative position in District 47 to serve as Director of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) effective July 11th (Representative Bellock had previously announced on August 1st, 2017 that she would not seek re-election in 2018). Jim Caffrey, candidate for State Representative in this open seat, thanked Representative Bellock for her service and congratulated her on the new position. “As I canvass across the district, I’ve learned first-hand how well respected she was in the community and the legislature. I wish Representative Bellock well in her new position and hope she can be an effective leader of HFS.”
In her announcement, Representative Bellock also discussed the future of her current position: “a new representative will be appointed in the coming weeks to serve the remainder of my term that expires in January.” As a result, people in the district are questioning whether the Republican party is using this opportunity to slot their current state representative candidate to achieve an edge in the upcoming general election. Caffrey stated that the best decision in this situation would be to appoint someone who has experience in government but is not running to replace Representative Bellock. “The House will not be in session again until after the election. The Republicans could certainly find a suitable replacement to serve out the remaining term while letting the voters have an impartial opportunity to choose a full-time representative in November.”
Caffrey went on to review his concerns about the state’s political parties serving their own interest and not those of its voters. “The process of one person retiring early from a seat so that the political parties’ preferred candidate can assume incumbency is not the right way to govern. It simply validates our state’s reputation where political parties game the system for their own benefit instead of serving in the best interest of the public. I urge the Republicans to fill this position with someone who is not currently running for the office because, simply put, it is the right thing to do.”
The 47th District runs along the eastern portion of DuPage County and includes all or portions of Elmhurst, Oak Brook, Oakbrook Terrace, Hinsdale, Clarendon Hills, Westmont, and Downers Grove. It also includes a small portion of Western Springs in Cook County.
Caffrey is a former Clorox customer team manager, Peace Corps volunteer, and national political organizer.