Illinois Democratic Party leaders scrambling to find good candidates


Senator Clayborne latest to step down


Illinois Correspondent

Belleville, IL –  Illinois Democratic Party leaders are scrambling to find good candidates following the announcement of yet another state legislator that he will not be seeking re-election.

James Clayborne, Jr., the state senator representing the East St. Louis and Belleville area since 1995, is the latest legislator to announce he will not seek re-election next year.

Clayborne will step down not only as a senator but as the Senate Majority Leader, a post he has held since 2009 that is second ranking in the Senate under the Senate President.

He said it’s time to return to his private life.

“I’ve made a lot of progress and benefited my district, and it’s time to move on to the next chapter in my life,” he said in an interview with the Politico website. “I’ve been doing this for 22 and a half years. I never planned on being here 28 years.” It would be 28 years after the next four-year term ends.

Along with the retirement of Senator Bill Haine of Alton, that will leave both of the Senate seats representing the larger Metro East cities open, plus Dan Beiser’s House seat in Alton.


In his announcement, Clayborne thanked voters for giving him the chance to serve.

“We have worked together to improve the quality of life in the 57th Senate District by increasing education funding, building new schools and improving access to technology in the classroom,” he said.

“Additionally, we have worked together to provide greater resources through grants to our local police and fire department to improve public safety. Our hard work has led to an improved transportation system and increased economic opportunities for all.”

Clayborne graduated from Tennessee State University in 1985 and received his law degree at the University of Miami in 1988. He worked as an assistant state’s attorney in St. Clair County and has been a child support prosecutor, felony prosecutor and supervisor in the Juvenile Abuse and Neglect Division and for probation revocations.

He also attended the FBI National Law Institute. He remains a partner of his firm Clayborne, Sabo & Wagner, in Belleville, focusing on civil litigation defense. The father of four sons, he is a member of Trinity United Methodist Church in East St. Louis and lives in Belleville.

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