McCombie becomes first woman named House Republican Leader

House Minority Leader-elect Tony McCombie, R-Savanna, speaks at a news conference in her soon-to-be office once she officially assumes the GOP leadership title in the 103rd General Assembly in January. (Capitol News Illinois photo by Peter Hancock)

SPRINGFIELD – State Rep. Tony McCombie, R-Savanna, was sworn into a fourth term in the Illinois House Jan. 11, officially taking the reins as the first woman to become House Republican Leader.

“It is a sincere and heartfelt honor to be given the responsibility to restore balance to our system of checks and balances in Illinois,” McCombie said.

McCombie is the first woman to serve as House Republican Leader in Illinois. McCombie has focused her work in Springfield on job creation, property tax relief, and improved government accountability.

“During the recent lame-duck session, House Republicans stood against pay hikes for politicians, fought vast overspending, and worked passionately against restrictions on the Constitutional rights and freedoms of law-abiding Illinoisans. I am extraordinarily proud to lead this caucus,” McCombie said.

McCombie’s 89th District contains portions of Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Ogle, Stephenson, and Winnebago counties.

The redrawn 37th District contains all or parts of Bureau, DeKalb, Henry, LaSalle, Lee, Marshall, Ogle, Peoria, Rock Island, Stark, Whiteside and Woodford counties

State Rep. Brad Fritts also made history Jan. 11 as the youngest elected official sworn into the General Assembly.

The 23-year-old Dixon Republican was elected in November to represent the redrawn 74th House District, which includes parts of Lee, Whiteside, Ogle, DeKalb and LaSalle counties.

“Illinois is an amazing place to grow up, but too many young Illinoisans are leaving for greener pastures out of state because they don’t see a future here for themselves,” Fritts said. “I welcome the opportunity to work for the people of my district to address their needs in a way that inspires everyone about the future of this great state.”

Former State Rep. Avery Bourne still holds the record for youngest member sworn into the statehouse, but not the youngest elected member to be sworn-in. She was sworn-in at age 22 in 2015 to fill a partial term, and was later elected to the seat in November 2016.

The 118 members of the Illinois House of Representatives took the oath of office at noon at the University of Illinois in Springfield before family, friends and supporters.

Fritts farms with his family and is a substitute social sciences teacher at Newman Central Catholic High School in Sterling. He was among more than a dozen other freshmen lawmakers sworn into office for the first time.

“I am honored to serve my community, and it’s important to me that the people of my district understand that my job first and foremost is to represent them down here and at home,” Fritts said. “My office is open to everyone and I encourage constituents to contact me for help with state issues and to discuss their thoughts on legislation. I’m excited to get to work and be their advocate.”

Fritts will be opening a district office at 101 W. First St., Suite 501, in Dixon and has a new district website at

He’s a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and Newman Central Catholic High School. He is the son of Nancy and Dixon Township Supervisor Ed Fritts.

Brad Fritts of Dixon appears at a campaign event in the fall of 2022. He was sworn in to represent the 74th district in the Illinois General Assembly on Wednesday.
State Rep. Tony McCombie greets people during a meeting of the Twin City Conservatives at A's Kitchen in Rock Falls on Nov. 4, 2022.
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