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Difference between revisions of "Richard Morthland"

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{{succession box | before = [[Mike Boland]] | title = Illinois House of Representatives District 71 | years = 2011–present | after = NA}}
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Revision as of 12:49, 21 January 2013

Richard Morthland
Richard Morthland.jpg
Illinois House of Representatives District 71
Former member
In office
January 12, 2011 - January 9, 2013
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedNovember 2, 2010
Term limitsN/A
High schoolRiverdale High School
Bachelor'sBlack Hawk College
Master'sDenver Seminary
ProfessionAdjunct professor, farmer
Office website
Campaign website
The information about this individual is current as of when his or her last campaign ended. See anything that needs updating? Send a correction to our editors
Richard "Rich" Morthland (b. November 10, 1959) was a Republican member of the Illinois House of Representatives, representing District 71 from 2011 to 2013.

Richard Morthland is a farmer, college professor, and former County Board member in Rock Island County, Illinois.

Morthland has a BA in Communications from St. Ambrose University, and a master’s degree in a communication-related field earned in Denver, Colorado.[1]

Morthland is a member of the Black Hawk College Speakers Bureau and the Farm Bureau.

Committee assignments


In the 2011-2012 legislative session, Morthland served on the following committees:


Concealed carry

In May 2011, Gov. Pat Quinn announced that he would veto the concealed carry bill on which the Illinois Legislature had voted, if it landed on his desk. The bill would allow Illinois residents to carry concealed firearms in public.

That threat held little water because the bill had a lot of support and might win through a supermajority (71 votes in the House and 36 votes in the Senate) of votes from both chambers.

Rep. Brandon W. Phelps said he was trying to find enough support in the House to move the plan over to the Senate. Phelps said he wanted to call House Bill 148 for a vote on May 5, regardless of Quinn's opposition.

"I just think that (Quinn) is wrong," Phelps said. "And you agree to disagree. Sometimes people within your own party disagree with what they say. And I totally disagree with him today."

Under HB 148, Illinois residents 21 and older could apply for permits to carry concealed firearms in public, except for places like schools, churches and inside state government buildings. Applicants would need to pass a written exam, firearms training exercises and background checks.

"About two-thirds of the citizens of our state are steadfastly and strongly opposed to allow private citizens to carry loaded, concealed handguns in public places," Quinn said.

Sen. Gary Forby said the opponents of concealed carry mostly live in and around Chicago and that people downstate, and in other states, support the idea.

"I think all we are doing now, we are really helping the state of Illinois with what they got to do to get a license and stuff," Forby said. "So all you are going to do is put guns in peoples' good hands."

Quinn said the plan may lead to more violence.

"I don't think that's healthy, if you are going to the grocery store," Quinn said. "You bump into somebody accidentally, and they take offense, they can pull out a loaded, concealed handgun to assuage their anger."

Sen. Larry Bomke said the plan would deter violence, because potential burglars would less likely rob homeowners with guns.

"I can only hope that he changes his mind once the bill gets to his desk," Bomke said. "And I feel fairly confident it will. But it will be important that we have enough votes, a supermajority, to override his decision if he chooses to veto the bill."

Rep. Jason Barickman said lawmakers have been working carefully to craft the plan.

“At the end of the day, we certainly would appreciate the governor's support,” Barickman said. “But with him making it clear that he opposes this right, this constitutional right, this right that a mass number of people support. I think that we just have to continue lining up our legislative votes and push forward."

Rep. Norine Hammond hopes that's enough support.

“A lot of people have worked on this very hard — lots of law enforcement input,” she said. “I think it is a very strong bill. And hopefully we could get it passed," she said.

In the end though, Rep. Richard Morthland said it won’t matter what the governor chooses to do with the legislation if there are enough votes.

"There is a last minute roll call being taken just trying to figure out where people are, and how we are doing, and do we have exactly the number of votes we need, how close are we,“ Morthland said. “I think it looks good. Hopefully we will be able to move it this week."[2]



See also: Illinois House of Representatives elections, 2012

Morthland ran for re-election in the 2012 election for Illinois House of Representatives District 71. Morthland was unopposed in the March 20 Republican primary and was defeated by Mike Smiddy (D) in the general election, which took place on November 6, 2012.[3][4][5]

Illinois House of Representatives, District 71, General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngMike Smiddy 52.1% 25,011
     Republican Richard Morthland Incumbent 47.9% 23,037
Total Votes 48,048


Morthland defeated Democrat Dennis Ahern in the November 2, 2010 general election for a seat that was held by incumbent Democrat Mike Boland, who did not run for re-election.[6]

Illinois House of Representatives, District 71 (2010)
Candidates Votes Percent
Green check mark transparent.png Richard Morthland (R) 20,376 58.01%
Dennis Ahern (D) 14,750 41.99%

Campaign donors


In 2010, Morthland raised $377,128 in contributions. [7]

His four largest contributors were:

Donor Amount
House Republican Organization Of Illinois $86,723
Illinois Republican Party $59,740
Citizens To Elect Tom Cross $57,250
Illinois Health Care Association $32,219

Political positions

Morthland can be described as a conservative Republican. He opposed the Rock Island County Board's controversial pay raises [8] He is also opposed to the creation of new taxes in Illinois and an increase of any income taxes [9]


Morthland lives on a farm with his wife Betsey, to whom he has been married for 30 years. Both Morthlands are college professors who have travelled twice to the Czech Republic at their own expense to teach English to Czech children.

Recent news

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Political offices
Preceded by
Mike Boland (D)
Illinois House of Representatives District 71
Succeeded by
Mike Smiddy (D)