Durbin Statement on Passing of Gene Callahan

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement regarding the passing of Gene Callahan:


“Gene Callahan was my trusted friend. I never made an important decision in my political life without calling Gene. He was totally honest, painfully candid, and completely loyal. You knew that if the world turned on you, Gene would be the last person standing by your side.


“I lost my top spot in his political hierarchy when his daughter, Cheri Bustos, was elected to Congress. His pride in her election was the capstone of his career in politics as a trusted adviser to Paul Simon and Alan Dixon.


“His hard and fast rules in life were basic: always be honest and always return phone calls. People who lied to him were banished, shunned and rarely redeemed. Those who did not return his phone calls could expect a series of phone calls that would not end until they finally relented.


“His wife Ann and his family meant more to him than anything on Earth. It is fitting that they gathered last night in Springfield for a fundraiser for Congresswoman Bustos at Norb Andy's Tabarin, a Springfield tavern that was not only Gene's favorite but also the romantic setting he chose many years ago to propose to Ann.


“Loretta and I have lost a dear friend. The Illinois political scene will never be the same without the Pride of Milford, Illinois, Gene Callahan.”