Outgoing Illinois Senate Republican leader Bill Brady, one of downstate Illinois’ most high-profile politicians, announced he would retire from the General Assembly on Thursday.
Brady, of Bloomington, had made three unsuccessful bids for governor and came close to victory in 2014. He announced after last month’s election that he would be stepping down from the GOP leadership post in the Senate amid an effort to oust him from that position.
Brady served in the state legislature for 27 years, first in the House from 1993 to 2001 before moving to the Senate. He had held the top leadership position of the Republican minority in the Senate since August 2017.
A real estate developer and marketer, Brady, 59, also had a financial interest in the video gambling industry. His Senate term was to have ended in January 2023.
Brady had no further comment on his retirement from the General Assembly. When he left his leadership post, he touted efforts to increase public school funding, opposing income tax increases and improving the state’s infrastructure.
Though he is leaving the legislature, Brady still plans to be politically active and is eyeing a possible spot on the 2022 ballot, said one confidant who was not authorized to speak publicly about Brady’s future.
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Brady sought but failed to secure the GOP nomination for governor in 2006 and in 2014. In 2010, he was the Republican candidate for the state’s top office after winning a seven-way primary by 193 votes over former state Sen. Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale.
But Brady was defeated in the general election by Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, who had been elevated to the post after Rod Blagojevich’s impeachment and removal from office. Quinn scored a narrow victory, winning by 31,834 votes.
Republicans in Brady’s central Illinois district will appoint a successor. Senate Republicans, a 41-18 minority when the new legislature is inaugurated Jan. 13, had already chosen state Sen. Dan McConchie of Hawthorn Woods to be their new leader.