Member of House Democratic leadership won’t support Madigan for another term

(The Center Square) – Support for Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan to get another historic term as speaker continues to wane.

State Rep. Kathleen Willis, who’s in House leadership, said she won’t be supporting Madigan.

“After a lot of thought and discussion with my family, I have come to the decision to let it be known that I will not be voting for Michael J. Madigan as Speaker for the 102nd General Assembly,” Willis, D-Addison, said in a letter published to a political blog.

“As the House Democratic Caucus Chair, this decision was not made lightly,” she said. “I feel strongly that our caucus has a lot of hard work to accomplish in the upcoming legislative session and we need to put the distraction that has been created by Representative Madigan behind us and move forward in mending the State of Illinois.”

Madigan, D-Chicago, hasn’t been charged with a crime, but has been implicated in federal bribery charges regarding several former ComEd officials and close associates, including longtime friend Michael McClain. Madigan has denied any wrongdoing.

Whoever becomes speaker needs 60 votes. Madigan has had the seat for all but two years since 1983. Last month, he said he still plans to run for speaker and has “significant” support for the position.

Excluding Republicans and the 19 Democrats who’ve publicly said they won’t support him, that leaves 55 potential votes.

One incoming Democratic lawmaker said he’s still thinking about whether to support Madigan.

“This is my first term and I have been doing a lot of research and reading about this issue to bring myself up to speed,” said David Vella, who won a seat in the House from Rockford. “I have not reached a decision one way or the other on this. This is going to be my first vote ever, and I want to make the right one. I plan to keep asking constituents and doing my homework until I know for sure.”

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