Rep. Jakobsson won't run for re-election

Rep. Jakobsson won't run for re-election

Her campaign manager hopes to be her successor

URBANA — State Rep. Naomi Jakobsson, D-Urbana, announced Tuesday night that she will not run for a seventh term in 2014.

And Michael Richards, a Champaign County Board member who managed Jakobsson's last two campaigns, said he hopes to succeed her in the Illinois House.

"It has been an honor to serve this community, but it is also time for someone else to prepare for the next term beginning in 2015. I have made the decision to not seek re-election. It was not an easy decision," Jakobsson said in an email sent to supporters.

"There is still much to be done in the next year while finishing the term I am in and will continue to represent you until January 2015."

Richards followed Jakobsson's email with his own, saying that Jakobsson had asked him to run for the seat representing the 103rd District, which includes almost all of Champaign and Urbana.

"Representative Jakobsson has asked me to run for state representative," said Richards, a county board member from Champaign and a legislative liaison to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. "Whomever wins this seat will have big shoes to fill."

Richards said that Jakobsson "has not only stood up for our progressive values in Springfield, she has fought for the area's interests, successfully fighting for Health Alliance and securing funding for Lincoln Hall. Champaign-Urbana and the U of I are the innovation engine of Illinois, and we need to ensure we have leadership in Springfield that can continue to successfully advocate for our community."

It's not likely that Richards will be the only Democratic candidate for the House seat, and a number of Republicans also have been patiently waiting for the politically popular Jakobsson to retire.

Jakobsson's decision not to seek another term in the House means that it's possible that Champaign-Urbana could lose both of its veteran state legislators in 2015. State Sen. Mike Frerichs, D-Champaign, is considering a run for the Democratic nomination for state treasurer.

Jakobsson, 71, spent 12 years as Champaign County recorder of deeds and worked as interim director of A Woman's Fund and executive director of the University YWCA before ousting state Rep. Tom Berns, an Urbana Republican, in 2002 by a 1,489-vote margin in 2002.

In 2004, she won a three-way race against Republican Deborah Frank Feinen and Socialist Equality candidate Thomas Mackaman. Mackaman got 1,466 votes, Feinen got 14,250 and Jakobsson received 25,700.

Last year, she easily defeated Champaign businessman Rob Meister, 69 percent to 31 percent.

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ROB McCOLLEY wrote on September 11, 2013 at 6:09 am
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Endorsements are best expressed by endorsers, not by endorsees. It seems too power-grabby, and a little bit pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.


Moreover, it's creepy to even insinuate that the people's representatives should be hand-picked by the powers that be. It reeks of oligarchy. Having known Naomi Jakobbson since about the time I was born, I know she's too smart and too respectful of democratic principles to dictate a successor upon her constituency.


I also think the Dems would be wise to nominate someone who is not considered a party hack.  


If Michael Richards is the nominee, the only thing we'll hear about for five months is his DUI.


Danno wrote on September 11, 2013 at 10:09 am

Yeah, I agree; that sense of entitlement is pretty obvious in the statements, Mr. Obvious. Well, I'll have you know that, I serviced her automobile at the dealership fer' years. And since she's not going to be driving it much longer, she said she saw sea shells...oops...; she said I could have it.

teresai wrote on September 11, 2013 at 11:09 am

Thank goodness she won't run for re-election!  Will some consertative Republican from Urbana please step up and run!  I will be happy to throw money into your campaign.  Now that she has time, she can get herself to a hair salon!

wayward wrote on September 11, 2013 at 12:09 pm

Um, so you're saying the district needs a Republican with elaborately styled hair?  Hey, maybe "Big Hair" could be a campaign slogan.

Teri McCarthy wrote on September 12, 2013 at 9:09 am

Wow, someone dedicates their life to service and all you can do is complain about her hair style....I am so impressed by your tact and thoughtful response (please note the heavy sarcasm)

bluegrass wrote on September 14, 2013 at 8:09 pm

I with you the hair style thing, but "dedicates their life to service"?  Ehh.  Not so much that.

jms wrote on September 12, 2013 at 11:09 am

No "consertative" Republican from Urbana will win. Sexist and stupid remark about her hair.

bluegrass wrote on September 16, 2013 at 9:09 am

A personal shot at a hairstlye is most certainly in bad taste, but it is not sexist.  Is it sexist when people make fun of Donald Trump's wirey mess, or Gene Simmons' helmet, or Joe 'Plugs' Biden?  

787 wrote on September 11, 2013 at 12:09 pm


Bulldogmojo wrote on September 11, 2013 at 8:09 pm

See ya and thanks for your complete lack of action on pension reform. Good luck with that mole...

wayward wrote on September 11, 2013 at 9:09 pm

It's not unusual for politicians to have opinions about who should succeed them.  In fact, people probably would have gotten upset if Naomi had said that she didn't care who the next state rep was.

ROB McCOLLEY wrote on September 12, 2013 at 3:09 am
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Good strawman.


In fact, this is one of the best strawmen I've ever seen. Nice deflection!

wayward wrote on September 12, 2013 at 8:09 am

Oh, if Naomi's endorsement was enough to prevent a primary, *that* might be a case of handing power down to a hand-picked successor.  But I think there probably will be one on the Democratic side, and Naomi's free to support whoever she wants.

spangwurfelt wrote on September 14, 2013 at 2:09 pm

I think the ideal solution would be for Rob McColley to run for the spot himself. After all, he knows all about what it takes to run a successful campaign, if by "successful" you mean coming in fourth in a field of four.

Teri McCarthy wrote on September 12, 2013 at 9:09 am

As a resident of the 103rd District, I want to thank Representative Jakobsson for her years of dedicated service.  Whether you liked where she stood on various issues or not, the representative has always been honest, hard-working and forthright...characteristics that are not often associated with politicians.  We have been so very fortunate to be represented by a person who genuinely cares about our community, state and country and was willing to put the work in to make them all better places for us to live.  Thank you again Representative Jakobsson and best wishes in your future endeavors.

jms wrote on September 12, 2013 at 11:09 am

I'm a Democrat. I didn't vote for her in the last election. I am disgusted with her that she voted against funding pensions for many years. And that she never responded to anything I wrote, or acknowledged that she received it.

She's a very nice person, but I don't want her as my representative.

alabaster jones 71 wrote on September 20, 2013 at 1:09 am
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"And Michael Richards, a Champaign County Board member who managed Jakobsson's last two campaigns, said he hopes to succeed her in the Illinois House."                                                                                                                   Very exciting news for anyone who wants even more petty partisan hackery in the state legislature.