Illinois Rep. Michael Madigan temporarily suspends campaign for House Speaker

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois House Speaker Madigan ends the effort to retain a leadership post after being implicated in a bribery investigation.

“This is not a withdrawal,” he says. “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.”

FOX 2 Illinois bureau reporter writes, even in his press release announcing he’s suspending his campaign, Madigan is still campaigning. The Speaker is inviting his 51 supporters to pick their next-best option. He appears to be positioning himself to jump back in and unify a further divided caucus later.

During a Monday afternoon press briefing, Gov. Pritzker said he was talking with several key lawmakers about the lame-duck session. One reporter asked if he asked Speaker Madigan to step down.

“No, I was in a conversation about getting things done. He is still the speaker now. We are trying to get decoupling done during this lame-duck session. The members or the House of Representatives will be voting on who their speaker is going to be,” said Gov. Pritzker.

Last week, Gov. Pritzker said that Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan “must resign” if allegations of corruption are true against the fellow Democrat long considered the state’s most powerful lawmaker.

Federal prosecutors said electric utility ComEd has agreed to pay $200 million to resolve a federal criminal investigation into a long-running bribery scheme that implicates Madigan. They say the company has admitted that from 2011 to 2019 it arranged for jobs and vendor subcontracts “for various associates of a high-level elected official for the state of Illinois.”

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