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John Cullerton

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

John Cullerton
John Cullerton.jpg
38th President of the Illinois Senate
In office
January 14, 2009 – January 19, 2020
Preceded byEmil Jones
Succeeded byDon Harmon
Member of the Illinois Senate
from the 6th district
In office
January 31, 1991 – January 20, 2020
Preceded byDawn Clark Netsch
Succeeded bySara Feigenholtz
Member of the Illinois House of Representatives
from the 7th district
12th district (1979–1983)
In office
January 10, 1979 – January 31, 1991
Preceded byEllis B. Levin[1]
Succeeded byAnn Stepan
Personal details
Born (1948-10-28) October 28, 1948 (age 71)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Pam Cullerton
EducationLoyola University, Chicago (BA, JD)
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army
Years of service1970–1976
UnitIllinois National Guard

John J. Cullerton (born October 28, 1948) is an American politician who served as a Democratic member of the Illinois Senate, representing the 6th district from his appointment in 1991 to 2020. He served as President of the Illinois Senate from 2009 to 2020.

On November 14, 2019 Cullerton announced to the other members of the Senate Democratic Caucus that he intended to retire in January of 2020.[2]

Cullerton was then replaced by the State Senator for the 39th district, Don Harmon in a closed door vote of the Illinois Senate on January 19, 2020.[3] Cullerton formally resigned from the Senate the next day.[4]

Early life

Cullerton is a native of Chicago. He received his bachelor's degree in political science from Loyola University of Chicago, where he also earned his J.D. degree. After graduating from law school, Cullerton served as a Chicago Assistant Public Defender. He went on to work at the law firm of Fagel and Haber.[5]

Political career

Illinois House

In 1979, he was elected to the Illinois General Assembly where he served for twelve years as a member of the House of Representatives. He served as Democratic Floor Leader. According to Cullerton's campaign website, he sponsored the most bills and had the most bills passed of all legislators in the 93rd and 94th General Assemblies.[6]

Illinois Senate

After being appointed to fill Dawn Clark Netsch's seat in 1991, Cullerton was elected to the state senate in 1992 where he was appointed Senate Majority Caucus Whip. Cullerton has been recognized for sponsoring more bills than any other legislator and having more signed into law by the governor.[citation needed]

Cullerton was chosen as the senate president by the Senate Democratic Caucus on November 19, 2008 to begin serving in 2009, replacing the retiring Emil Jones.[7]

His first legislative priority as senate president was to pass the first Capital Bill in 10 years, which allocated roughly $31 billion for public works projects and created tens of thousands of jobs[citation needed] in Illinois Public Act 096-0036 [1]. Cullerton led the senate during the impeachment trial, and subsequent removal, of former Governor Rod Blagojevich.[citation needed]

Cullerton served as a delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention.[8]


In May 2017, Cullerton intervened in a land dispute outside of his district when he advocated, on behalf of the Keefe Family Trust, to pave over a section of publicly owned wetland to build a 28 foot long driveway, which would require killing approximately 48 mature trees in a small old-growth forest.[9] Despite the opposition and objections of the Village of Wilmette, the City of Evanston,[10] the publicly operated Canal Shores Golf Course[11][12] and numerous community organizations,[13][14][15] Cullerton met with local officials on multiple occasions to argue in favor of a driveway to access a landlocked parcel so the Keefe Family Trust could build a subdivision of three houses. The parcel had been landlocked when the Keefe Family Trust purchased it.[16]

Professional career

Cullerton serves part-time as an Illinois state senator. Fagel Haber merged with Thompson Coburn LLP in 2007, and Cullerton continues as a partner,[17] practicing in the areas of government relations, zoning, licensing, real estate tax assessment, and nonprofit law.


Cullerton announced in November of 2019 that he would officially retire and step down as Illinois Senate President in January of 2020.[18]

Personal life

Cullerton and his wife, Pam, have five children together: Maggie, John III, Garritt, Kyle, Josephine.[19]


On June 6, 2019, Bishop Thomas Paprocki issued a decree officially barring Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton from presenting themselves to receive the Eucharist on account of their role in Passing the Reproductive Health Act, which removes spousal consent and waiting periods for abortions. While singling out Madigan and Cullerton specifically, Paprocki also asked that other legislators who voted for the bill not present themselves for Communion either, stating that they had "cooperated in evil and committed grave sin." Madigan stated that Paprocki had informed him earlier that he would be forbidden from taking the sacrament if he permitted the House to debate and vote on the measure, but that he chose to do so.[20]


  1. ^ Illinois Blue Book 1977-1978, page 90
  2. ^ Sneed, Michael (November 14, 2019). "Senate President John Cullerton says plan to retire in January is a 'promise kept'". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
  3. ^ Bremer, Shelby (January 20, 2019). "Don Harmon Elected President of Illinois State Senate". NBC Chicago. Retrieved January 19, 2020.
  4. ^ "Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » John Cullerton has now officially resigned from the Illinois Senate". Retrieved January 20, 2020.
  5. ^ Firm Profile.
  6. ^ "John Cullerton". Archived from the original on July 5, 2008. Retrieved December 16, 2008.
  7. ^ Rick Pearson and Ray Long Cullerton to lead Senate Chicago Tribune, November 20, 2008
  8. ^ Newman, Craig (September 2, 2012). "Who are the Illinois delegates to the Democratic National Convention?". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on May 2, 2013. Retrieved September 6, 2012.
  9. ^ "Wilmette land owners want Evanston easement before building homes". Chicago Tribune. May 18, 2017. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  10. ^ "Residents, Evanston and Wilmette oppose Canal Shores land easement". The Daily Northwestern. October 16, 2018. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  11. ^ Don't Pave 10
  12. ^ "Canal Shores Golf Course Board Adamantly Opposes Proposed Roadway". Evanston Patch. October 5, 2018. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  13. ^ Central Street Neighbors
  14. ^ "Officials block plan to build road through Isabella Woods". The Daily Northwestern. May 18, 2017. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  15. ^ "Editorial: We Oppose an Easement to Build a Road Through Isabella Woods". Evanston RoundTable. May 17, 2017. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  16. ^ "MWRD Board Rejects Isabella Woods Easement Request: A developer's decades-long push to gain access to landlocked property was blocked by a unanimous vote Thursday". Evanston Patch. May 19, 2017. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  17. ^ Thompson Coburn Attorney Profile.
  18. ^ "Illinois Senate President John Cullerton retiring in January". Chicago Tribune. November 14, 2019. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  19. ^ Transcript of Cullerton's Inaugural Speech, January 2008
  20. ^ Malagón, Elvia (June 6, 2019). "Catholic bishop in Springfield: No communion for Madigan, Cullerton for supporting 'abominable' Illinois abortion rights bill". The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved June 6, 2019.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Emil Jones
President of the Illinois Senate
Succeeded by
Don Harmon
This page was last edited on 22 February 2020, at 23:32
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