Illinois Home elects Welch first Black speaker — moments after Madigan lastly agrees ‘it is time for brand new management’

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SPRINGFIELD — Signaling the top of 1 period and the start of one other, state Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch was elected the brand new speaker of the Illinois Home on Wednesday — succeeding Mike Madigan, the longest serving statehouse speaker in U.S. historical past.

Welch is the primary African American to win the highly effective management place.

The Hillside Democrat was elected, 70 to 44, over Home Republican Chief Jim Durkin of Western Springs.

Madigan, 78, in a symbolic passing of the torch of management solid his vote for Welch.

Welch was sworn in at about 1:45 p.m.

Newly elected Illinois House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch is sworn in as speaker on Wednesday at the Bank of Springfield Center.

Newly elected Illinois Home Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch is sworn in as speaker on Wednesday on the Financial institution of Springfield Middle.
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Lower than two hours earlier, Welch secured 69 votes in a second assembly of the Home Democratic Caucus Wednesday morning, sources within the room informed the Chicago Solar-Occasions.

That’s solely 4 in need of the whole 73-member Democratic Caucus.

The later vote of the whole Home got here simply minutes after the swearing-in of newly elected members of the Normal Meeting.

State Rep. Maurice West nominated Welch and requested the physique to offer a standing ovation for the “legacy and the service of Speaker Michael J. Madigan.”

Democrats and most Republicans took to their toes, some GOP Home members instantly, others extra slowly.

State Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, left, outgoing Speaker Mike Madigan, center, and Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White pose before new member of the House are sworn in on Wednesday.

State Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, left, outgoing Speaker Mike Madigan, middle, and Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White pose earlier than new member of the Home are sworn in on Wednesday.
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In an announcement shortly earlier than the swearing in, Madigan mentioned “it’s time for new leadership in the House.”

“I wish all the best for Speaker-elect Welch as he begins a historic speakership,” the assertion continued. “It is my sincere hope today that the caucus I leave to him and to all who will serve alongside him is stronger than when I began. And as I look at the large and diverse Democratic majority we have built — full of young leaders ready to continue moving our state forward, strong women and people of color, and members representing all parts of our state — I am confident Illinois remains in good hands.”

Outgoing state House Speaker Mike Madigan takes his seat Wednesday shortly before the new General Assembly is sworn in — and his successor is chosen.

Outgoing state Home Speaker Mike Madigan takes his seat Wednesday shortly earlier than the brand new Normal Meeting is sworn in — and his successor is chosen.
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Considered a Madigan loyalist, Welch, 49, was first sworn in to the Home in 2013 and can begin his fifth time period later Wednesday. He can be the 70th Speaker of the Illinois Home and the primary Black particular person to carry the place.

Welch, the main contender for the highest Home management spot, fell 5 votes quick earlier Wednesday morning of the 60 wanted from his Democratic colleagues to get the job, sources within the room informed the Chicago Solar-Occasions.

Welch obtained 55 votes, whereas 17 folks voted current because the Home Democratic Caucus tries to find out who they wish to succeed Michael Madigan, sources mentioned.

Sixty votes are required to develop into speaker — a vital threshold that decades-long incumbent Madigan couldn’t meet earlier this week, a sign of the embattled Southwest Facet Democrat’s waning energy.

Welch entered the race on Monday, after Madigan’s gorgeous determination to droop his personal marketing campaign kicked off a collection of fast-moving developments.

House Speaker Mike Madigan, D-Chicago, right, talks with state Rep. Rita Mayfield, D-Waukegan, left, during the lame-duck session for the Illinois House of Representatives held at the Bank of Springfield Center on Monday.

Home Speaker Mike Madigan, D-Chicago, proper, talks with state Rep. Rita Mayfield, D-Waukegan, left, through the lame-duck session for the Illinois Home of Representatives held on the Financial institution of Springfield Middle on Monday.
Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register through AP

Tuesday noticed state Rep. Jay Hoffman of Swansea becoming a member of the fray, and the 2 remaining Democratic ladies within the race — Stephanie Kifowit of Oswego and Ann Williams of Chicago — drop out.

Welch has drawn criticism from Republicans for his function as chairman of the Home Particular Investigative Committee that was charged with investigating Madigan final yr. The committee ended abruptly after assembly thrice and calling just one witness.

The panel didn’t discover that Madigan engaged in wrongdoing in his dealings with ComEd. Madigan was implicated in an alleged bribery scheme through which ComEd is accused of sending $1.three million to Madigan’s associates for doing little or no work for the utility with a purpose to curry favor with the highly effective politician.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and others took to Twitter to congratulate Welch.

Welch’s bid drew concern from feminine legislators and others Tuesday after information stories of a 2002 police report detailing an alleged assault on an unidentified lady, with whom he was in a relationship.

Within the police report, the girl mentioned she was returning to Welch’s house to seize a few of her belongings after their relationship ended. Throughout that argument, she referred to as Welch a “loser” and he turned “enraged” and is alleged to have “grabbed her hair with both hands while in the kitchen and slammed her head backwards numerous times on the counter top,” in accordance with the police report.

Welch denied grabbing the girl and he was by no means charged within the case.

In an announcement addressing the police report, Welch blamed Republicans for citing what he referred to as a “verbal argument” that occurred “nearly two decades ago.”

“I will be honest that I have reconciled with the individual since that night,” Welch’s assertion continued. “In fact, after our dispute we sought out the authorities ourselves. Their family lives in my district and are proud supporters of my public service and work. However, I must convey my dismay over the lack of decency displayed by the GOP politicians and their urge to use this report against me. At no other occasion have these events been brought up and I firmly believe my Republican colleagues are threatened by the potential growth of my profile.”

Madigan, 78, who can also be chair of the Illinois Democratic Celebration, has been battered by the continuing federal investigation of the ComEd influence-buying scandal in Springfield. Madigan has been implicated however not charged within the investigation.

However the federal probe had more and more difficult his path to a different time period as speaker, a place he’s held for all however two years since 1983 — longer than some other statehouse speaker within the nation.




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