The big news hereabout is that Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan is “suspending” his campaign for remaining the Illinois’s House’s speaker. ABC 7 Chicago reports:
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WLS) — Longtime Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan released a statement Monday saying he is suspending his campaign to maintain the position he has held for decades.
Madigan would need 60 votes to maintain his speakership. He released a statement saying that, “This is not a withdrawal. I have suspended my campaign for Speaker. 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.”
Nobody really knows what this means. He could well be re-elected speaker without campaigning for it if support does not coalesce around someone else. Maybe that’s his objective. Maybe he’s just reacting in a fit of pique over the lèse-majesté over not being elected on the first ballot. He’s still chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party so he will still wield considerable power even if he’s not speaker.
It could be the result of the cloud hanging over him due to the criminal investigations surrounding him or it could be a sign of the changing Democratic Party or both.
Relatively few Illinois voters remember a time when Mike Madigan wasn’t speaker.