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James Clayborne Jr.

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James Clayborne Jr. (born December 29, 1963) is a member of the Illinois Senate representing the 57th District since his appointment in 1995.[1] The 57th District, located in the Metro East region includes all or parts of Freeburg, Belleville, East St. Louis, O'Fallon, Madison, Fairview Heights, Shiloh and Scott Air Force Base.[2]

James Clayborne
Majority Leader of Illinois Senate
Assumed office
January 2009
Preceded by Debbie Halvorson
Member of the Illinois Senate
from the 57th district
Assumed office
April 1995
Preceded by Kenneth Hall
Personal details
Born (1963-12-29) December 29, 1963 (age 54)
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Staci Clayborne
Children 4
Education Tennessee State University (BA)
University of Miami (JD)

He is currently the second highest-ranking member of the Illinois Senate, serving as the Senate Majority Leader since 2009.[3] On September 21, 2017, Clayborne announced he would not run for reelection in 2018.[4]


Early life and careerEdit

Senator Clayborne was born and raised in East St. Louis.[5] After graduating from East St. Louis High School,[6] he earned a Bachelor of Science from Tennessee State University and later a law degree from the University of Miami.[1] While at the University of Miami, he met his future wife Staci, with whom he now has four sons.[5][6]

He went on to serve as an assistant state’s attorney in St. Clair County as well as a child support prosecutor, a supervisor in the St. Clair County Juvenile Abuse and Neglect Division, a supervisor in Felony Probation Revocations and a felony prosecutor.[7] He also was one of 50 attorneys selected nationwide to participate in the Federal Bureau of Investigation's National Law Institute in Quantico, Virginia.[7] He later chose to enter private practice[5]

Illinois SenateEdit

In 1995, Clayborne was appointed to complete the term of longtime Senator Kenneth Hall and was later elected in his own right in 1996.[6] In 2009, he became the Senate Majority Leader after finishing second to John Cullerton in the race for Senate President.[8]

Clayborne is the current chair of the Assignments Committee as well as the committees on Energy, Executive Appointments, Insurance, Public Pensions & State Investments and the subcommittees on Governmental Operations and Constitutional Amendments.[1]

Clayborne also served as a delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention.[9]


  1. ^ a b c "Senator James F. Clayborne Jr. (D) – 57th District". Illinois General Assembly. Retrieved 2013-06-04. 
  2. ^ "PA 97-0006 Legislative District 57" (PDF). 2011-05-18. Retrieved 2015-09-07. 
  3. ^ "Senate Leadership of the 98th General Assembly" (PDF). Illinois General Assembly. Retrieved 2013-06-04. 
  4. ^ Miller, Rich (September 21, 2017). "Senate Majority Leader Clayborne to retire". Retrieved September 22, 2017. 
  5. ^ a b c McDermott, Kevin. "Beyond Black: Race is just one factor that shapes the sensibilities of this trio of lawmakers". University of Illinois at Springfield. Retrieved 2013-06-04. 
  6. ^ a b c Clayborne, James. "Finding Aid to The HistoryMakers ® Video Oral History with Hon. James Clayborne" (PDF). The History Makers. Retrieved 2013-06-04. 
  7. ^ a b "Biography". Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus. Retrieved 2013-06-04. 
  8. ^ Willis, Christopher (2008-11-20). "John Cullerton Picked As Illinois Senate President". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2013-06-04. 
  9. ^ Newman, Craig (2012-09-02). "Who are the Illinois delegates to the Democratic National Convention?". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on 2013-05-02. Retrieved 2012-09-06. 

External linksEdit