Illinois Lawmaker Abruptly Leaves Office -- and Social Media
By Monique Garcia
A top ally of Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner abruptly resigned from the Illinois House on Sunday, citing "cyber security issues" that also prompted him to delete his social media accounts.
Rep. Ron Sandack, R-Downers Grove, served as Rauner's House floor leader, where he was known for his passionate defense of the governor's policies that also bled into his online presence. Sandack frequently took to Facebook and Twitter to let his viewpoints be known, but his accounts went dark last week.
"It has been a tremendous honor and privilege to serve the people of the 81st District for the past four years in Springfield. But after some cyber security issues arose, I began to re-evaluate my continued public service," Sandack said in a statement distributed late Sunday by House Republican leadership.
Sandack first joined the legislature in 2010, when he was appointed to fill the seat of Dan Cronin, who stepped down to serve as DuPage County Board chairman. Sandack moved to the House in 2013, and was up for re-election on the November ballot against Democratic attorney Greg Hose, also of Downers Grove.
Before joining the legislature, Sandack was mayor of Downers Grove. He also is a partner in a Chicago law firm.
It will be up to Republican officials to pick Sandack's replacement, and he vowed to work with to ensure they are "successfully elected to the seat" this fall.
While Sandack cited online security concerns, he also mentioned a desire to be home more as a reason for his surprise resignation.
"My duties in Springfield have meant missing a lot of events in the lives of my children. I am no longer willing to miss important family events," Sandack said.
Sandack came under fire following a heated debate at the end of the spring legislative session. House Republicans were furious when the chamber was quickly adjourned after Democrats led by House Speaker Michael Madigan muscled through a budget bill that ultimately stalled in the Senate. Republicans had asked for a double check that required each lawmaker voting for the measure to be verified as in their seat. But the verified roll-call was never held.
Incredulous, Sandack went to the front of the chamber to ask Madigan's chief legal counsel why the verified roll call was never held and touched her on the arm. Democrats later accused Sandack of accosting her, which Sandack denied.
"I did not grab her. I did get in her face and talk to her," Sandack said.
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