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Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan suspends campaign

Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan suspends campaign
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Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan (D) is suspending his campaign for another two years in leadership after a revolt among his own caucus denied him the votes necessary to keep a post he has held for decades.

Illinois Democratic sources confirmed Madigan’s decision came after he fell short of the votes necessary to keep his post, a move first reported by Capitol Fax.

“This is not a withdrawal,” Madigan said in a statement Monday morning. “I have suspended my campaign for Speaker. As I have said many times in the past, I have always put the best interest of the House Democratic Caucus and our members first. The House Democratic Caucus can work to find someone, other than me, to get 60 votes for Speaker.”

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On Sunday, as legislative Democrats began voting for a new leadership team, Madigan won only 51 votes in the first round of balloting — short of the 60 he would need to keep his post.

The decision will send shockwaves through Springfield and Chicago, where Madigan has held unrivaled power for decades. He has served as Speaker of the state House for 35 of the last 37 years, interrupted only by a two-year window of Republican control in the mid-1990s.

Madigan’s tenure had faced growing challenges in recent years from a rising generation of Democrats who chafed under his leadership, and over a growing federal corruption investigation that has already spurred charges against Madigan allies and friends.

Last month, four people connected to Commonwealth Edison, one of the state’s largest utilities, pleaded not guilty to bribery charges in connection with lobbying in Springfield. Madigan has not been charged with a crime, but one of his closest confidants was among those charged.