IL House Speaker Michael Madigan continues to lose support amid ComEd investigation implications

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Saturday, November 21, 2020
Speaker Michael Madigan loses support amid ComEd investigation implications
Speaker Michael Madigan continued to lose Democratic support as representatives seek new leader.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WLS) -- House Speaker Michael Madigan continued to lose Democratic support as many state that a change should include a woman or minority leader.

The loss of support came as the federal ComEd corruption investigation implicated Madigan, but he has not been charged. He denies any wrongdoing.

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Rep. Will Davis said he was interested only if Madigan decides not to run.

"If he, you know, respects that process and realizes that he can't garner enough votes to win, you know, maybe he can talk about a way to make a transition," Davis said.

Madigan said he planned to be a candidate for speaker despite a growing push for change from Democrats. He said he has the support of a significant number of the House Democratic Caucus members.

Rep. Stephanie Kifowit is the only declared candidate running against Madigan. Other potential candidates include Rep. Greg Harris, Madigan's number two in the house, and Rep. Kelly Cassidy, an early Madigan critic.

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"There's a certain way that things have always been done, and I think this opportunity to talk about ways that we, as a group, can see that being different," Cassidy said.

Madigan needs 60 votes to be reelected as speaker, and estimates are that he has 45 to 50 in his camp. He has recently been calling members to gauge and shore up support.

Rep. Chris Welch backed Madigan and was considered a candidate if Madigan did not decide to run again.

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"No one has been beat up on more than Speaker Madigan. No one has been under more public scrutiny than he has over the term of his career, so I can't imagine he's going to let public pressure impact his decision," Welch said.

Observers do not count out Madigan due to his enormous power that could make it difficult to remove him from the seat.