With House re-election, Madigan continues streak as nation's longest-serving speaker
State Rep. Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) was re-elected speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives on Wednesday.
Madigan, the longest-serving speaker in the nation, began his 49th year in the legislature on Wednesday, according to the Chicago Tribune. He's been elected House speaker 18 times in 36 years.
Madigan won with 72 votes to Rep. Jim Durkin's (R-Burr Ridge) 44 votes.
One Democrat did not vote for Madigan: she simply voted "present."
Rep. Anne Stava-Murray (D-Naperville) said earlier this month that she plans to file a discrimination complaint against Madigan with the Illinois Human Rights Commission, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Illinois Office of Legislative Inspector General because he allegedly sent other women to coerce her to vote for him as speaker, according to Capitol Fax.
Rep. Emanuel "Chris" Welch (D-Westchester) nominated Madigan, saying he was a great leader who listens to the people.
"That’s the most important quality a leader should have," Welch said. "Watching Speaker Madigan these last four years has been a real case study in true leadership."
Welch said with Madigan's leadership, the House stood strong and protected the heart of Illinois.
Rep. Natalie Manley (D-Joliet) gave several examples from her constituents where Madigan had helped them.
Rep. Elizabeth Hernandez (D-Cicero) said Madigan has proven to be a leader who aims to find common ground.
"Those who tear him down have forgotten all he’s fought for," Hernandez said. "I am confident Madigan is the one to foster bipartisanship and make sure all Illinoisans voices are heard."
Madigan thanked Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker for attending the event.
"In 2015, I pledged to work with Gov. [Bruce] Rauner," Madigan said. "That was four long years of vilification and character assassination."
Madigan said the government is people working with people.
"When people do not agree and they are reasonable they talk to each other and exchange ideas and negotiate in good faith," Madigan said. "The last four years, people working with people has not happened in the state of Illinois. This new chapter is where people work with people."
Republicans nominated Durkin for the office, saying he was a kind and fierce leader.
"We have a responsibility to do better," Rep. Tony McCombie (R-Savanna) said. "We need growth and in order to grow, we need to change how we’ve done business in the last four decades."
Durkin congratulated new House members and thanked them for the commitment to public service.