Bloomington senator announces end-of-term retirement in January to focus on family

Sen. Jason Barickman speaks during debate on the SAFE-T Act trailer bill on Dec. 1, 2022.
Sen. Jason Barickman speaks during debate on the SAFE-T Act trailer bill on Dec. 1, 2022.(Mike Miletich)
Published: Dec. 5, 2022 at 10:48 AM CST
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BLOOMINGTON (25 News Now) - Illinois State Senator Jason Barickman (R - Bloomington) plans to leave the statehouse in January to focus on spending more time with his family.

The senator recently secured another term in the recent November elections. His retirement allows Senate Republicans to appoint a replacement to serve his full term. The results of the election confirmed the decision he was already mulling over in his head, saying the Illinois Republican party has a “challenging” road ahead.

“It’s going to take a lot of hard work and a lot of energy, that I’m more inclined to provide to my family and my kids,” Barickman said.

Barickman says he won’t take any part in choosing his successor but will leave that up to his party.

He’s been seen during his 12-year tenure as a Republican willing to reach across the aisle and work with the Democratic supermajority, he’s hoping whoever follows him will keep that spirit, and that his party will help follow suit.

“I’ll encourage them to find common ground, he said. “I think that’s the right approach, I think that has the public’s interest in mind. I think there are other Republicans who will step forward and say ‘you know what, I want to be a part of the crowd that solves problems,’ and works together, and recognizes that there’s a middle ground for all of us.”

Barickman cites his children as the factor in his decision.

Barickman is a father of three, the oldest of which was born shortly after he started his first term in office, 12 years ago. Now, his children are old enough for a variety of after-school activities: baseball, dance, and soccer to name a few. He and his wife decided they want to be present for their childhood and emerging teen years.

“Those who know me are well aware of the priority I have continually attempted to place on my family,” he said in a statement. “However, my other obligations have only increased, bringing further sacrifices.”

Barickman pointed to the COVID-19 pandemic as a moment that made him realize how much time he wanted to spend at home. At the time, he was considering a run for statewide office, as well as balancing multiple public appearances. The pandemic brought that all to an end, and he was able to spend time at home.

During his time in the legislature, he has also worked as a full-time attorney, adjunct college professor, and partner in a real estate company that experienced rapid growth.

The real estate company employs hundreds, and he said that rapid growth contributed to his decision to focus on his private ventures.