51 House Democrats back Madigan for speaker in caucus vote
See who your representative backed in a historic fight for the Illinois House speakership.
Update: On Jan. 13, Illinois House Democrats elected state Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch as House speaker. This article describes an internal caucus vote taken prior to Madigan’s suspension of his campaign for speaker Jan. 11.
An internal caucus vote on Sunday put Michael Madigan nine votes short of the 60 he needs for a 19th term as speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives.
But it also revealed he enjoyed support from a majority of House Democrats.
The floor vote for speaker will not take place until immediately after the 102nd General Assembly is sworn in on Jan. 13. Ahead of that official vote, which will include House Republicans, House Democrats on Jan. 10 held an internal caucus vote to decide the next speaker. Madigan suspended his campaign for speaker after coming up short, but has not officially withdrawn.
Madigan is the target of a wide-ranging federal corruption investigation, which has resulted in four indictments and Commonwealth Edison agreeing to pay a $200 million fine for a yearslong scheme to curry favor with the speaker through $1.3 million in no-work contracts and patronage jobs to Madigan’s closest allies. Madigan has denied wrongdoing, and said he considers helping constituents find jobs to be part of his public service.
Madigan is the longest-serving speaker in American history, and has consolidated unprecedented power through parliamentary rules, control of the Illinois Democratic Party purse strings, and preventing good-government reforms, such as independently drawn political maps. Since he became speaker in 1983, Illinois’ credit rating has fallen from the highest possible score to the worst in the nation – driven primarily by unsustainable pension promises made to his allies in government worker unions.
The internal vote for speaker broke down as follows:
- 51 votes for Madigan
- 18 for Chicago state Rep. Ann Williams
- Three votes for Aurora state Rep. Stephanie Kifowit
- One present vote: state Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago
With no candidate commanding the 60 votes necessary to hold the speaker’s gavel, House Democrats may hold additional further internal votes ahead of inauguration day.
The following list is based on previously released statements, news reports and Statehouse sources. Illinoisans can use Illinois Policy’s Take Action tool to find and contact their state representative.
Votes for Madigan (51)
La Shawn Ford
Frances Ann Hurley
Emanuel Chris Welch
Janet Yang Rohr
Michael J. Zalewski
Votes for Williams (18)
Terra Costa Howard
Denyse Wang Stoneback
Votes for Kifowit (3)
Present votes (1)
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