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Sen. Dave Luechtefeld asks a question to Paul Simon Public Policy Institute Director David Yepsen in 2012 while Yepsen was testifying at the Senate Redistricting Hearing at the SIU Student Center.

SPRINGFIELD — Three downstate Republican senators are moving up in their party’s leadership ranks following state Sen. Matt Murphy’s resignation.

The Palatine Republican’s departure from his position as deputy minority leader led to the promotion of Sen. Dave Luechtefeld of Okawville, who will fill the post until he retires in January at the end of his current term.

Taking Luechtefeld’s spot as one of four assistant minority leaders will be Sen. Chapin Rose of Mahomet, who moves up from the position of minority whip. That makes room for Sen. Jason Barickman of Bloomington to take Rose’s former post.

The Illinois Senate Republicans announced the changes Thursday, the day Murhpy’s resignation became effective. He departed for a job with a lobbying firm.

“Dave is a tireless fighter for the needs of Southern Illinois, while also demonstrating his leadership skills and ability to see the state as a whole,” Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno of Lemont said in a prepared statement. “Dave and I began our careers as freshman seatmates on the floor of the Illinois Senate. With this appointment, he will end his career as my seatmate.”

Luechtefeld expressed gratitude for the appointment.

“As Illinois continues to face many difficult challenges in the months ahead, I am hopeful that … I can contribute in a new way in meeting those challenges,” he said in a prepared statement.

Luechtefeld won’t earn the $20,649 stipend normally associated with the position, according to an announcement from Radogno’s office.

A statement from Rose’s office said he plans to use his new position to continue being a voice for Republicans in budget negotiations. He was part of a bipartisan group of lawmakers that negotiated a stopgap budget that Gov. Bruce Rauner signed into law June 30.

Rose noted that Murphy was also a key participant in those discussions.

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