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Senator James F. Clayborne, Jr. Bio

Senate Majority Leader James F. Clayborne, Jr. (D- Belleville), serving his sixth term for the 57th Legislative district, has a record of tackling big issues facing Illinoisans.  He also works tirelessly to promote growth for safe and healthy families in his Metro East district.

In 2005, Senator Clayborne’s legislation lead to landmark reform of the state’s medical malpractice laws.  It included important insurance reforms and provisions giving patients greater access to information regarding their doctor.  In 2007, with residents throughout the state facing skyrocketing electric rates, Senator Clayborne mediated a legislative compromise that provided more than $1 billion in rate relief to Illinois consumers.  In addition to these difficult issues, Senator Clayborne has fought for legislation for school construction and expanded social service programs as well as assistance for seniors, veterans and working families.

Clayborne has been recognized for his legislative accomplishment on numerous occasions by a wide range of organizations. His awards include the 1996 Outstanding Legislator of the Year Award from the Illinois Health Care Association, the 1997 Legislative Recognition Award from the Illinois Primary Health Care Association, and the 2008 Administrators Exemplary Service to Education Award from the Illinois Association of School Administrators. Clayborne has received the Legislator of the Year award from the St. Louis Regional Chamber & Growth Association for the last four years.

Following his graduation from Tennessee State University in 1985, Clayborne earned a Doctrine of Juris Prudence in 1988, from the University of Miami School of Law in Coral Gables, Florida. He served as a law clerk for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida and as a clinical intern with then Dade County State's Attorney Janet Reno, who went on to serve as Attorney General of the United States. Senator Clayborne is a Partner, working in civil defense litigation with the law firm of Hinshaw & Culbertson of Belleville.
In his spare time, the Senator is involved in a host of civic and community organizations. 
He hosts a college bus tour twice a year which is open to all high school students in his district. The first trip is for high school seniors and the second trip is for all non-seniors. The Senator is also an active member of the Trinity United Methodist Church in East St. Louis.

Senator Clayborne, who has four sons, resides in Belleville.

Sen. Clayborne


57th District
Senate Majority Leader

Years served:
1995 - Present

Committee assignments: Assignments (Chairperson); Energy; Executive; Insurance; Judiciary.

Biography: Attorney; born Dec. 29, 1963, in St. Louis; B.S., political science, Tennessee State University; J.D., University of Miami; partner with his firm Clayborne, Sabo and Wagner; (Belleville); former St. Clair County Assistant State's Attorney; has four sons.