Sen. Harmon's stock rises in Illinois Senate

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By Marty Stempniak

Staff Reporter

Oak Parker and state Sen. Don Harmon is gaining attention and power in the Illinois Senate, according to a respected Springfield newsletter, and as such he was recently named to a top leadership position.

Harmon was appointed as "president pro tempore" of the Senate last week. He'll act as a "jack of all trades" in the new position, working closely with Senate President John Cullerton to advance legislation.

"I'm honored to have the opportunity," Harmon said by phone Tuesday. "I look forward to doing the work and was happy to help the president try to craft a better leadership team."

Harmon, 44, is a lifelong Oak Parker in his third term as a state senator of the 39th District, which includes parts of Oak Park and River Forest. He's become a force on the Senate president's team, according to the Capitol Fax, a respected Springfield newsletter.

"To say that Harmon has become a major player in Cullerton's team would be an understatement," Rich Miller wrote in the periodical last week. "He is Cullerton's top elected advisor, taking up the role formerly played by retired Sen. Jim DeLeo."

Miller speculated that Harmon might be appointed as majority leader, but that spot remained with Sen. James Clayborne last week. Harmon called the report "idle speculation."

This marks Harmon's ninth year in the Senate after originally being elected in 2002. Harmon, who recently voted in favor of the controversial income tax increase, along with abolishing the death penalty, said he is open to running for a fourth term in 2012.

"I'm very grateful for the opportunity I've had in the Senate and at this point would certainly like to continue doing it as long as the voters would have me," he said.

Reader Comments

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Tom MacMillan from Oak Park  

Posted: January 23rd, 2011 10:26 AM

Don Harmon is the worst representative we could ask for. He has power within his own party because he was willing to stab the people he represents in the back. We are working two jobs in our family to put our kids through school and he is taking money away from us to pay for the Democrat's pet projects. This guy has got to go and we all need to band together to get rid of him in future elections.

Jim from RF  

Posted: January 20th, 2011 9:16 PM

This guy is a tool, pure & simple.

ridenjo from Oak Park  

Posted: January 20th, 2011 2:43 PM

Senator Harmon, thanks for the huge tax increase during a recession and the fine job you have done in running Illinois into its current fiscal mess. BTW: From the founder of Jimmy John's headquartered in Champaign as reported by Crains -- My family and I are out of here." Mr. Liautaud has rented a house in South Florida and his children started school there last week. He said he has applied for Florida residency and plans to commute to Champaign. He's also looking to move his 100 corporate employees.

OP Resident  

Posted: January 20th, 2011 12:55 AM

The people of Illinois need a statesman not another pol looking out for his pals. Don Harmon was responsible for gutting reform of the Freedon of Information Act. Harmon worked to protect the interests of the corporations and developers who have reaped millions of tax dollars from the TIF scams. Public corruption is the biggest threat to our republic and all Harmon has done is obstruct any efforts to change the system. He's now an insider who can help his friends and himself. Trust him not!

Tom D  

Posted: January 19th, 2011 8:30 PM

Well, certainly Cullerton wants to reward ole Donny for pushing through the votes for the MASSIVE tax increase to struggling Tax Payers, all the time while NOT cutting costs. Even NY and California have joined New Jersey in getting to the FACTS - spending and State Jobs must be cut - in terms of SALARIES. That and Pensions (8K) per month in retirement. These costs Need to be Cut Senator Harmon. All the State gave thanks to Sen Harmon, a promise to not RAISE spending more than 6% o/3 YEARs?

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