Madigan faces rebellion within Democrat House Caucus; 5th Term Leftist leads opposition

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SPRINGFIELD – Monday, longtime Illinois Democrat Party Chairman Mike Madigan paused his effort to be re-elected once again as Speaker of Illinois House after he failed to gather the 60 needed votes during a caucus gathering Sunday afternoon. 

Madigan, who has ruled and reigned in the Illinois House every term since 1983, with the exception of one two-year term in 1995-1996, said while he’s hitting the pause button, he’s not dropping out in shame yet. 

“This is not a withdrawal,” Madigan said in a statement. “As I have said many times in the past, I have always put the best interest of the House Democratic Caucus and our members first. The House Democratic Caucus can work to find someone, other than me, to get 60 votes for Speaker.”

Screen Shot 2021-01-11 at 1.57.50 PMTwo of his Democrat colleagues drained the needed votes from the Speaker – Ann Williams of Chicago and Stephanie Kifowit of Aurora. 

"Today’s vote makes clear the House Democratic Caucus is ready for a change in leadership," Williams said in a press release Sunday afternoon. "I want to thank Representative Kathy Willis and Representative Stephanie Kifowit in joining me on this journey to elect Illinois’ first woman Speaker. I am grateful for the support of so many of my colleagues and I will continue to work to earn the support of the rest and unify the caucus."

Williams, who is one of the House’s most liberal members, is serving her 5th term as a member of the Illinois House. Her priorities, according to her website include "supporting our neighborhood schools, protecting critical human services, preventing gun violence, and restoring fiscal stability to Illinois. She is a strong and unwavering advocate of reproductive rights and was a leader in bringing marriage equality to Illinois. She remains committed to ensuring equality for all Illinois families. Ann has sponsored and supported numerous legislative initiatives pertaining to privacy rights and data privacy. The former chair of the Illinois Green Caucus, Ann is a leader on issues related to the environment and is working to address the climate crisis as the lead sponsor of the Clean Energy Jobs Act." 

Williams has served on the board of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence and Personal PAC, an advocacy organization committed to maintaining access to abortion. 

She has a long way to go to gather the needed 60 votes, insiders say. She had the votes of only 17 or so in Sunday’s vote. 

State,Region: Statewide,Politics,Opinion

via Illinois Review https://ift.tt/2Oisp1C

January 11, 2021 at 02:07PM

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