Illinois Sen. Bill Brady of Bloomington was chosen Friday to be the next Senate Republican leader.
The announcement came a day after Sen. Christine Radogno, R-Lemont, stunned the Statehouse by announcing she was stepping down as leader and from her seat in the Senate. Her resignation is effective at the end of the day on Saturday.
Brady, 56, was chosen by a unanimous vote at a meeting of Senate Republicans, Radogno told reporters. The formal transition was to come with a vote on the Senate floor.
His district takes in a portion of Tazewell County including Washington and Morton.
“I couldn’t be more proud,” Radogno said. “He will be a very capable successor and I wish him all the luck in the world.”
“I think the whole state of Illinois needs some luck,” Brady said.
“The good news is,” he added, “I’ve got a great caucus behind me, as leader Radogno had, that can help provide a real solution to this state.”
Brady also said he will continue working in a bipartisan fashion, as Radogno has done.
“We all know that we have gone far too long without a meaningful solution for Illinois that brings back jobs, that provides property tax relief, that balances a budget,” Brady said.
In a statement, Brady also thanked his Senate colleagues for their faith in him, and his 44th Senate District constituents for “the privilege to represent them in the state Capitol and the opportunity to serve as leader.”
The 44th also includes part of Sangamon County and Springfield. Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport and the Illinois State Fairgrounds are both in the district.
Brady has been in the Senate since 2002. Before that, he was an Illinois House member from 1993-2001.
He also is a former candidate for governor. He lost primary races for the Republican nomination in 2006 and 2014. He won the nomination in 2010 but lost the general election by a slim margin to Gov. Pat Quinn.
“It’s an honor to congratulate Sen. Bill Brady as the new Senate Republican leader,” said Gov. Bruce Rauner, who defeated Brady in that 2014 Republican primary. “He is a champion for Illinois families – understanding the changes our state needs to create jobs, lower property taxes, strengthen schools, and reform our political system. I look forward to working with all of the outstanding leaders in the Senate Republican caucus as we work to fix Illinois by creating a more responsive and responsible state government.”