After winning an uncontested election in November, state Sen. Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) said he will retire prior to being seated for his next term Jan. 10.
After the recent redraw of districts, Barickman’s 53rd District now takes in southern La Salle County, southern Bureau County and a portion of Putnam County, including Streator. The district had always included Livingston County, where Barickman, a Woodland High School graduate, grew up.
Barickman said the Monday announcement will allow the Republican party leadership to fill his vacancy prior to the inauguration of the new 103rd General Assembly.
Barickman served in the Illinois house and senate for 12 years.
“My oldest son was born during the final days of my first legislative session, which quickly taught me about the sacrifices that would burden my family as I chose to serve,” Barickman said in a statement Monday. “Those who know me are well aware of the priority I have continually attempted to place on my family. However, my other obligations have only increased, bringing further sacrifices. Throughout my time in the legislature, I have also had the honor to work as a full-time attorney, an adjunct college professor, and more recently as a partner in a real estate company that has grown much faster than I could have hoped for.”
Barickman and his wife Kristin have three children, ages 11, 9 and 5.
“I want to now give them more of me and am looking forward to getting more of them,” Barickman said. “My mom, dad and brother have also supported me at every turn. Now is a chance for me to give them more of my time as well.”
Barickman said he considered himself an independent voice in favor of limited and responsible government.
“I’ve tried to demonstrate that there is space for independent and thoughtful representation, even in our increasingly polarized political climate,” Barickman said. “Solving problems legislatively, and just as importantly, working to address constituent issues, has given me an opportunity to prove that our government, as frustrating as it can be, can actually still work.
“What’s next for me includes more time with my kids — fishing, outdoor activities, traveling, participating in their activities, shuttling them around, and hopefully avoiding many of the phone calls, meetings and conflicts that have too often pulled me away from my family.”