From Illinois Public Radio - News Local/State -

Legislator Protests Madigan As Party Chair, Won’t Say Why

House Speaker and Illinois Democratic Party chair Michael Madigan speaks at a meeting of the Democratic State Central Committee on Tuesday, April 22, 2014.

House Speaker and Illinois Democratic Party chair Michael Madigan speaks at a meeting of the Democratic State Central Committee on Tuesday, April 22, 2014. (Amanda Vinicky/IPR)

The man who has led the Democratic Party of Illinois for the past sixteen years will hold onto that title, but he did face a rare display of opposition.

Party leaders met in Springfield Tuesday to re-elect House Speaker Michael Madigan as their chair.

There are those who view Speaker Madigan as an icon of all that's wrong with Illinois politics, and then there are those who seem to see him as a Democratic demigod.

"He's larger than life to me, in terms of who he is and how he leads the state," said Chicago Alderwoman Michelle Harris. "And because of that we have a strong, Democratic state. We're the strongest in the nation because of his leadership."

Harris was the fourth member of the Democratic State Central Committee to "second" his nomination as the party's chairman, ahich made his election a no-brainer, despite one defection.

Sen. Michael Noland (D-Elgin) stood to cast the sole "no" vote. He would not say why, just that he has long had concerns, political in nature.

"It is nothing personal," Noland said. "Absolutely nothing personal."

Madigan offered little comment in reaction, saying he'll continue the policies that have made Democrats dominant in state politics.

Categories: Government, Politics