Karen May Not Seeking Re-Election in 2012
Veteran legislator plans to “sprint across the finish line” to make a mark on Illinois.
State Rep. Karen May, D-Highland Park, told Patch on Wednesday morning that she will not seek re-election in 2012 and instead will concentrate on her legislative agenda for the next 15 months.
“I want to sprint across the finish line and finish up my very aggressive legislative agenda without dealing with the details of a campaign,” May said.
May has been a leader in the General Assembly on pension reform and environmental legislation during her 12-year Springfield tenure.
More than anything else, May said she will miss representing the constituents who have shown her so much support during her time in the General Assembly and on the Highland Park City Council before that.
“I’ve loved every minute of what I’ve done,” May said. “I appreciate the overwhelming support I’ve received in the district. They have given me the support to fight for them.”
May has focused on issues important to her district and the state overall, including environmental protection, ethics reform, property tax relief, gun control, affordable health care and state budget reforms.
In the last legislative term, May pushed legislation to prevent those receiving public pensions from also earning taxpayer-paid salaries, and to reduce the maximum pensions that retired public employees may receive. These reforms could save as much as $100 billion over the next 40 years, according to May.
May’s retirement will touch off a race among Democrats for the seat she has held since 2000. No one indicated yet whether they will run for the seat.
Lake Forest physician Mark Neerhof has said he will seek the Republican nomination.
This is the third major retirement of a local legislator in the last few months. State Sen. Susan Garrett, D-Lake Forest, announced in July she would not seek re-election, and on Friday, Lake County Board member Ann Bassi, D-Highland Park, decided to step down.