As Mike Madigan fights to keep his job, House Dems to begin voting on speaker Sunday

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Potential candidates for speaker, left to right: House Democratic Caucus Chair Kathleen Willis; House Speaker Mike Madigan; state Rep. Stephanie A. Kifowit; state Rep. Ann Williams.
Candidates for speaker, left to right: House Democratic Caucus Chair Kathleen Willis; House Speaker Mike Madigan; state Rep. Stephanie A. Kifowit; state Rep. Ann Williams. | Rich Hein; Neal Earley; Rich Hein; Erin Brown/Sun-Times file.

It will be the first round of voting for the speaker position, and Democrats will have to choose between Speaker Michael Madigan and Reps. Ann Williams, D-Chicago, Stephanie Kifowit, D-Oswego, and Kathleen Willis, D-Addison.

SPRINGFIELD — As House Speaker Mike Madigan battles to hang onto power, House Democrats are set to begin voting Sunday on whether to keep him in the job or choose another candidate.

It’ll be the first round of voting for the position, and Democrats will have to choose between Speaker Michael Madigan and Reps. Ann Williams, D-Chicago, Stephanie Kifowit, D-Oswego, and Kathleen Willis, D-Addison. Among challengers to Madigan a clear frontrunner has yet to emerge.

Steve Brown, a spokesman for Madigan, said members will continue to ask questions of the candidates and nominate them during a Sunday meeting of Democratic members.

“[Madigan] continues to talk to members and continues to work to be the speaker in the 102nd General Assembly,” Brown said.

Democrats met for roughly three hours Saturday, questioning Madigan and the candidates vying for his job .

The Sunday vote will likely be a voice vote.

That’s likely because Madigan opposes using secret ballots, which would allow representatives to vote anonymously, sources told the Chicago Sun-Times.

“Just one vote should help us figure out where people are at,” the representative said.

Kifowit, Williams and Willis are among the 19 House members who have said they will not vote for the embattled House speaker who has been implicated but not charged in a ComEd influence-buying scandal that has resulted in one of his closest associates being indicted. Madigan has denied wrongdoing.

Assuming none of the 19 changes position, Madigan will be at least six votes shy of the 60 he needs to continue in the leadership role he’s held for nearly four decades.

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January 9, 2021 at 08:26PM

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