Kevin Joyce resigns Illinois state house seat

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September 1, 2010

Kevin Joyce, who resigned from office in August 2010. Joyce had held the seat since 2003.

By Geoff Pallay

Last month, Kevin Joyce resigned effective immediately from his seat in the Illinois House of Representatives.[1]

Joyce had served in the Illinois legislature since 2003. He originally filed to run for re-election in the 2010 election -- in fact, he won the February 2 Democratic primary. However, he later decided not to run again after learning that his wife was pregnant with their eighth child. In August, Joyce decided to resign effective immediately and take a position as Director of Government and External Relations with Ave Maria University.[2]

Across the country, there will may be more instances in the coming months of legislators resigning who either lost a primary or are not running again. For example, Bruce Goforth (D) resigned in North Carolina last month after losing his primary earlier this year.

Some states have different policies on appointing replacements or leaving the seats open. In Illinois, the party of the legislator leaving office appoints a replacement. John O'Sullivan was named to replace Joyce.[3]

Bill Cunningham was nominated to replace Joyce in the general election on November 2, and thus O'Sullivan will only hold the seat for a few months. Cunningham faces Barbara Ruth Bellar (R) in the general election. The nomination of one person to serve out the remaining months coinciding with an entirely different representative for the election has left some constituents in Illinois confused about the situation.[4]

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