Developing: Illinois Senate to elect new president

Illinois Capitol News
Watch this Sunday morning’s live episode of Capitol Connection previewing the vote for Senate President .

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (NEXSTAR) — Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) intends to resign his post today. Senate Democrats huddled in the statehouse Sunday morning to begin the process of picking his successor.

Update: 4:15 p.m.: Senate Democrats have rallied around Senator Don Harmon, according to multiple sources involved in the negotiations. A private vote will occur in the Democratic caucus before a public vote to make it official on the floor of the Senate.

Update: 12:16 p.m.: Senators Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) and Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood) are the two presumptive candidates, and went head-to-head in a first round of ballots. Harmon narrowly won the first round, but failed to reach 30 votes, the minimum requirement to clinch the presidency on the Senate floor.

Senate Democrats took a brief break from the action and will resume for a second round of voting.

Five Senate Republicans did not make the trip to the statehouse for the special election on Sunday. According to a Senate Republican staffer, Senators Jil Tracy, Chuck Weaver, Brian Stewart, Sue Rezin, and Jim Oberweis did not show up.

After hours of negotiations before a second round of voting, Senator Emil Jones III emerged and addressed the media. He announced his public support for Senator Don Harmon while other senators remain huddled in a private caucus meeting.

This is a developing story. Check back in for updates.

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