Illinois Rep. Tim Johnson to retire

Rep. Tim Johnson (R-Ill.) will retire this year despite winning his GOP primary just a few weeks ago, The Hill has confirmed.

Democrats who controlled the redistricting process, in which Illinois lost a seat, made Johnson's GOP-leaning district more Democratic.

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That was a factor in Johnson's decision, according to the Capitol Fax, an Illinois political newsletter, which first reported the news.

He will announce his decision Thursday, according to the report, which also stated Johnson felt comfortable with his decision given that perennial candidate David Gill will be the likely Democratic nominee. Johnson easily defeated Gill in 2010 with 64 percent of the vote. Gill was also the nominee against Johnson in 2004 and 2006.

Johnson handily won his March 20 primary. Local Republicans will pick the new GOP nominee to replace him.

The name getting the most early attention is Rodney Davis, a senior Illinois Republican tells The Hill, pointing out Davis was executive director of the state GOP in 2010 when the state elected several Republicans.

Davis is also the former campaign manager to Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.), who represents a nearby district. The strategist noted Davis is close to several lawmakers in the state.

Johnson, a six-term lawmaker, is known as a bit of a loner in the House. He got national attention for his phone calls — attempting to call every one of 300,000 his constituents. The new congressional lines took many of those families out of his district, leading him to tell the The Washington Post in June: “That is agony, I’ll tell you. I thought: All these relationships! All these friendships! All this service! You know, what is it all about?”

— This story was last updated at 8:04 p.m.