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John Cullerton

John Cullerton
President of the Illinois Senate
Assumed office
January 14, 2009
Preceded by Emil Jones
Member of the Illinois Senate
from the 6th district
Assumed office
January 31, 1991
Preceded by Dawn Clark Netsch
Member of the Illinois House of Representatives
from the 7th district
In office
January 10, 1979 – January 31, 1991
Preceded by ???
Succeeded by Ann Stepan
Personal details
Born (1948-10-28) October 28, 1948
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Pam Cullerton
Children 5
Alma mater Loyola University Chicago
Religion Roman Catholic
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1970–1976
Unit Illinois National Guard

John J. Cullerton (born October 28, 1948) is an American politician who is currently a Democratic member of the Illinois Senate, representing the 6th district since his appointment in 1991. He was elected President of the Illinois Senate in 2009.[1]


  • Early life 1
  • Political career 2
    • Illinois House 2.1
    • Illinois Senate 2.2
  • Professional career 3
  • Personal life 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Early life

Cullerton is a native of Chicago. He received his bachelor's degree in political science from Loyola University of Chicago, where he also earned his law degree. After graduating from law school, Cullerton served as a Chicago Assistant Public Defender. He went on to work at the law firm of Fagel and Haber.[2]

Political career

Illinois House

In 1979, he was elected to the Illinois General Assembly where he served for twelve years as a member of the House of Representatives. He served as Democratic Floor Leader. According to Cullerton's campaign website, he sponsored the most bills and had the most bills passed of all legislators in the 93rd and 94th General Assemblies.[3]

Illinois Senate

After being appointed to fill Dawn Clark Netsch's seat in 1991, Cullerton was elected to the state senate in 1992 where he was appointed Senate Majority Caucus Whip. Cullerton has been recognized for sponsoring more bills than any other legislator and having more signed into law by the governor.

Cullerton was chosen as the senate president by the Senate Democratic Caucus on November 19, 2008 to begin serving in 2009, replacing the retiring Emil Jones.[4]

His first legislative priority as senate president was to pass the first Capital Bill in 10 years, which allocated roughly $31 billion for public works projects and created tens of thousands of jobs in Illinois Public Act 096-0036 [2]. Cullerton led the senate during the impeachment trial, and subsequent removal, of former Governor Rod Blagojevich.

Cullerton served as a delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention.[5]

Professional career

Cullerton serves part-time as an Illinois state senator. Fagel Haber merged with Thompson Coburn LLP in 2007, and Cullerton continues as a partner [6] practicing in the areas of government relations, zoning, licensing, real estate tax assessment, and nonprofit law.

Personal life

Cullerton and his wife, Pam, have five children together: Maggie, John III, Garritt, Kyle, Josephine.[7]

Cullerton co-owns a bar and restaurant in Chicago, Tavern on Rush, with Illinois State Senator James DeLeo (D-Chicago) and others.[8]


  1. ^ Blagojevich oversees Senate swearing-in as impeachment trial looms, Chicago Tribune, Jan. 14, 2009.
  2. ^ Firm Profile.
  3. ^ "John Cullerton". Retrieved 2008-12-16. 
  4. ^ Rick Pearson and Ray Long Cullerton to lead Senate Chicago Tribune, November 20, 2008
  5. ^ Newman, Craig (2012-09-02). "Who are the Illinois delegates to the Democratic National Convention?".  
  6. ^ Thompson Coburn Attorney Profile.
  7. ^ Transcript of Cullerton's Inaugural Speech, January 2008
  8. ^ McKinney, Dave (2009-10-18). "DeLeo shown sponsoring widow of mob boss - Senator says list is incorrect".  

External links

  • Biography, bills and committees at the 98th Illinois General Assembly
    • By session: 98th, 97th, 96th, 95th, 94th, 93rd
  • Illinois Senate President John Cullerton legislative website
  • Senate President John J. Cullerton at Illinois Senate Democrats
  • Profile at Project Vote Smart
  • Collected news and commentary at the Chicago Tribune
Political offices
Preceded by
Emil Jones
President of the Illinois Senate
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