State Rep. Bill Mitchell, whose district includes parts of McLean County, said Thursday he will not seek re-election in 2018.
Mitchell, a Forsyth Republican, made the announcement in Clinton. Mitchell said he was making the announcement now so that anyone interested in running for the seat could begin the process of running, including circulating petitions. Republican Joe Alexander of Clinton said he's planning to run.
When asked why he was retiring, Mitchell didn’t point to one specific reason. He’s served as a state representative since 1999. His current district includes communities such as LeRoy, Heyworth, and Farmer City.
“Twenty years is plenty of time,” Mitchell said, according to a Facebook Live video posted by the Decatur Herald & Review. “Someone else needs to take the reins.”
Mitchell was re-elected in 2016, beating his Democratic challenger with 75 percent of the vote. He faced new criticism this summer over his vote to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s budget vetoes. He told the Champaign News-Gazette it was the most difficult vote he’d taken in his 18 years as a lawmaker.
“It’s been an honor to serve the people of the state of Illinois,” he said.
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