Springfield, Ill. – Embattled Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan released a statement Friday night declaring he will run for a 19th term in the leadership role.
Madigan stated House Democrats plan to choose the next Speaker during their first caucus in January. At that time, members will discuss statewide issues and the candidates most capable to address them.
The Chicago Democrat has led the chamber 35 of the last 37 years.
“I plan to be a candidate for speaker,” Madigan stated. “Today I confirmed that I continue to have support from a significant number of House Democratic caucus members.”
This announcement comes two days after several individuals close to Madigan were indicted for involvement in a bribery scheme with Commonwealth Edison. Federal prosecutors charged Madigan’s close confidant and former ComEd lobbyist Mike McClain, former ComEd CEO Anne Pramaggiore, former executive John Hooker, and lobbyist Jay Doherty. Madigan doesn’t face charges at this time, and the Speaker continues to state he did nothing wrong.
On Thursday, Gov. JB Pritzker said Madigan should answer questions from the press or resign from leadership.
“Written statements and dodged investigatory hearings are not going to cut it,” Pritzker said. “If the Speaker cannot commit to that level of transparency, then the time has come for him to resign as Speaker.”
Still, Madigan hasn’t responded to requests for interviews or a press conference.
He’ll need 60 votes to remain in the Speaker’s chair. However, 18 House Democrats have already announced they won’t vote for his reelection. That leaves 55 Democrats to decide where Madigan stands.