In the wake of the announcement of Illinois State Rep. Larry McKeon's impending retirement, press releases lauding him have been issued.
Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan said that, 'Like many, I was saddened to hear that my friend and legislative colleague, State Representative Larry McKeon, has announced his retirement from the Illinois House of Representatives. Larry's career in the General Assembly has been the capstone to a long and distinguished career in public service.'
In his statement, Madigan also mentioned the policy issues McKeon intends to concentrate on after he leaves office in January. 'Larry has been a champion for legislation to increase access to affordable health care, help senior citizens to remain independent, improve education and protect the environment,' he said. Madigan also characterized McKeon as someone who has always possessed 'reserve and humility'—two qualities that have helped McKeon get legislation passed, Madigan contended.
Stonewall Democrats Illinois, the state's largest GLBT Democratic political organization, issued a release calling McKeon 'one of the truly great independent Democratic leaders of our community and of our state.' Organization President Rick Ingram a 'hero of our community' and 'a tireless advocate,' adding 'there's no one in GLBT politics for whom I have greater respect.'
Meanwhile, attorney Jim Snyder—who McKeon recommended to the Democratic committeemen to succeed him—said that now is 'a time for everyone to come together to congratulate [ McKeon ] on the wonderful things he's done' and added that 'there are many more [ good ] things in store for him.' Discussing the recommendation, Snyder called it 'humbling' and said that he will definitely pursue the opportunity to run. 'I will give it my entire heart and soul,' he told Windy City Times, adding that he has nothing but 'respect' for the committemen.
In 2000, Snyder ran for a Democratic committeeman position and lost by 17 votes.