SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (NEXSTAR) — The end of an era is drawing near in Illinois politics. Rep. Emanuel ‘Chris’ Welch (D-Hillside) is the new Speaker of the House after consolidating enough support to win the contest.
Rep. Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) will no longer be the Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives. It comes 50 years after he was first sworn-in as a state representative.
House Democrats elected a new speaker Wednesday morning before they cast their votes in public at the inauguration ceremonies that kick off the new 102nd General Assembly.
Welch only entered the race after Madigan suspended his campaign and gave his blessing for other candidates to jump in.
Madigan congratulated Welch in a closed door caucus meeting after Welch won 69 of 73 available votes. The members gave Madigan a standing ovation. His spokesman says he plans to swear the oath of office and remain in his seat as a state representative.