Democratic state Senate President John Cullerton has announced he's stepping down from the Illinois Legislature.
Cullerton says Thursday night in a statement that his retirement will be effective sometime in January and that he is fulfilling a promise to his wife, Pam.
Cullerton was elected state senate president in 2009 and has been in the Illinois Senate since 1991. His 6th district covers Chicago's North and Northwest sides.
He was elected in 1978 to the Illinois State House. He unsuccessfully ran against then-U.S. Rep. Dan Rostenkowski, a Democrat, in 1994.
Cullerton cites two capital bills, marriage equality, abolishment of Illinois' death penalty, and reforms to school funding, pensions and immigration as accomplishments by the Senate over the past 11 years.