BY CARL GREEN
Springfield, IL – Jerry Costello II, one of the five Democratic union supporters representing the Metro East in the Illinois House of Representatives, has resigned his House seat to accept an appointment from Gov. J.B. Pritzker to become director of law enforcement for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Costello, of Smithton in St. Clair County, and the son of longtime U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello, has been the House 116th District representative since 2011 and was chairman of the House Agriculture and Conservation Committee.
Following Pritzker’s election last November, speculation began that Costello might be named to head the Department of Natural Resources. That post went to Colleen Callahan, former Illinois director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development program.
But Pritzker said the law enforcement position is well-suited to Costello’s background and experience. “After serving his country in the battlefields of Iraq and the people of southern Illinois in the statehouse, I’m thrilled Jerry Costello is continuing his public service by leading law enforcement at the Department of Natural Resources,” Pritzker said in announcing the appointment. “His wide-ranging experience brings much value to an important piece of state government.”
Costello replied: “It’s an honor to lead the dedicated group of men and women who keep Illinoisans safe while they enjoy our state’s natural resources. I’m excited to start this new chapter, and I thank Governor Pritzker for the opportunity to serve.”
Democratic Party chairmen from Monroe, Randolph, St. Clair and Perry counties will choose Costello’s replacement. The remaining four Democrats from the Metro-East are Katie Stuart of Edwardsville, LaToya Greenwood of East St. Louis, Monica Bristow of Godfrey and Jay Hoffman of Swansea.