On Wednesday, Democrats in the Illinois House of Representatives voted to appoint State Representative Emmanuel “Chris” Welch (D) as the next leader. It officially ended decades of control by Council President Mike Madigan (D), who served longer than any other state, a speaker in US history.
Welch, representing the eastern suburbs of Chicago, received the votes he needed for the Speaker after hitting a deal with State Representative Jay Hoffman (D), who will serve as a leader next year. Welch is poised to become the first black lawmaker to hold a speaker’s hammer in Illinois history.
His ascension comes after months of turmoil among members of the Illinois House of Representatives, a growing number of House Democrats urging Madigan to leave Madigan as his regular speaker. Congress and was Illinois̵7; most powerful politician for 36 of the past 38 years.
But Madigan’s associates and allies are increasingly shrouded in an extended federal investigation into the Commonwealth of Edison lobbying practices, the state’s largest utility. Several of Madigan’s associates have been charged with the crime, although Madigan has not been accused of wrongdoing.
The company has agreed to pay a $ 200 million fine after accepting a job submission plan and entering into a lobbying contract for Madigan’s partners.
Madigan maintained his power by building and maintaining the last major political machine in America. Based on his base on Chicago’s southwestern side, Madigan has run a patronage system that has earned him years of tenure and control of the state’s Democratic Party.
The crowd of young and progressive Democrats who won Madigan’s off-machine election has increased in recent years. In the wake of the scandal, ComEd had enough Democrats pledged to withhold their votes to reject votes needed to hold Madigan’s office.
Madigan suspended his own campaign for Speaker earlier this week when it became clear he did not have the 60 votes needed to win the speaker. On Wednesday, he admitted his time was running out.
“As I prepare to pass the speaker’s spear to a young generation of Democratic leaders, I want to thank the people of my district and the Democrats for the faith and trust they have. “It’s time for a new leader in the House of Commons over the years,” Madigan said in a statement. “I wish Welch the very best for this. Speaker-elect Welch as he began his historic career. ”
Welch will be formally elected later on Wednesday when the full state council meets at the Bank of Springfield Center, where they are meeting to comply with social remoteness guidelines.
Madigan tends to at least maintain his strength. Welch, who served for eight years in the State House, is an ally of Madigan, who most recently served as chair of the council’s executive committee. Welch was also the chair of the committee examining Madigan’s relationship with ComEd, which was canceled after finding there was nothing wrong with Madigan’s actions.