Dems elect Harmon to serve as president of Illinois Senate

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Illinois Senate President Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, gavels out to close the session after taking the oath to become the next Senate President of the Illinois Senate at the Illinois state Capitol, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, in Springfield, Ill. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Don Harmon has been elected as the next Illinois Senate president, becoming the first new leader of the Illinois General Assembly’s upper chamber in more than a decade.

Harmon, an Oak Park Democrat who was elected Sunday by a 37-12 margin, will replace Sen. John Cullerton.

The 71-year-old Cullerton last year announced his retirement after four decades in the General Assembly, including five terms as Senate president. Harmon assumes the top leadership post in the Senate at a time when Democrats hold a supermajority in both General Assembly chambers.

The new Senate president needed support from a majority of the chamber’s 59 members. Democrats currently hold 40 seats.

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