MARION — As of Wednesday, Jim Kirkpartick will serve as state representative in the 117th District seat.
Kirkpatrick was sworn into office Wednesday after former Rep. John Bradley confirmed his retirement, which took effect Jan. 1. Kirkpatrick will serve in the 117th District seat until Jan. 11.
During the ceremony, Kirkpatrick said he is humbled by the appointment, and despite difficulties with the state's budget, he believes the state will recover.
"This is a difficult time for the state of Illinois, but you know I've never felt that Illinois stopped being great," he said. "I'm proud to be from Illinois and I love Illinois. We've got a lot of history and a lot of great people and we've hit a roadblock here with the budget but we'll get back on track, and like I say the sun will always shine tomorrow."
Bradley, who was present at the ceremony, said he was pleased with the votes for the recommendation of Kirkpatrick.
"You know, we as Americans believe that if you work hard your whole life and if you do things the right way, opportunities come along and good things happen to you and there is no better example of that than Jim Kirkpatrick," he said.
Bradley also noted that Kirkpatrick's time in the seat is a wonderful opportunity, and that he would receive no compensation or benefits other than to serve.
"This I think is a wonderful ending of his legislative career, to get the opportunity to be a representative with no benefits to him personally other than the opportunity to do this and to serve in this final role," Bradley said.
As for future plans, Bradley said he is unsure about his involvement in the community, but is looking forward to spending quality time with his family.
"I don't know exactly what is going to happen," he said. "I have been involved for my entire life so I don't need a title to be who I am but we will take some time and spend time with family and figure out where we go from here."