State Rep. Bellock resigns to become director of Department of Healthcare and Family Services

Patti Bellock has served almost 20 years

state Rep. Patti Bellock, R-Hinsdale[]

State Rep. Patti Bellock, R-Hinsdale, who previously had announced she would not seek re-election to the Illinois General Assembly this year, has accepted Gov. Bruce Rauner's appointment to serve as director of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, effective July 11.

Bellock announced her resignation as state representative for the 47th District in a July 2 post on her website and noted in the post that a new representative will be appointed in the coming weeks to serve the remainder of her term, which expires in January.

As director, she will be responsible for managing Illinois’ Medicaid system and supporting the department's responsibillity for Illinois’ child support system, according to the post.

"I look forward to working with the Governor and my former colleagues in the General Assembly to ensure access to quality health care for Illinois’ most vulnerable population and making our health care delivery systems more efficient and effective," Bellock said in the post.

She also thanked her constituents.

"The friendships I have made throughout our community during my years in the legislature have enriched my life beyond measure," Bellock said. "To the people of Downers Grove, Darien, Elmhurst, Clarendon Hills, Hinsdale, Oak Brook, Oakbrook Terrace, Westmont, Western Springs and surrounding communities, I wish you and your families all the very best in the years ahead."

Bellock, who was elected in 1999, was the first woman to serve as deputy leader of a legislative caucus when she was appointed deputy house minority leader in 2013, the post stated.

Two Elmhurst residents are slated to run for the 47th District seat in November – Democrat James "Jim" Caffrey and Republican Deanne Mazzochi, the chairwoman of the College of DuPage Board of Trustees.

Bellock's resignation has led some to question if Mazzochi will be appointed to fill her seat.
In a news release, Caffrey said the best decision would be to appoint someone who is not running to replace Bellock.
“The process of one person retiring early from a seat so that the political parties’ preferred candidate can assume incumbency is not the right way to govern," he said. "It simply validates our state’s reputation where political parties game the system for their own benefit instead of serving in the best interest of the public."
Mazzochi did not respond to requests for comment.