New House Speaker candidate enters race

Illinois Capitol News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — A new contender is officially in the race for Speaker of the House.

The Legislative Black Caucus endorsed Representative Emanuel “Chris” Welch for Speaker after current House Speaker Michael Madigan suspended his reelection campaign. 

The Legislative Black Caucus originally endorsed Madigan with the majority of their members.

In a statement, the caucus thanked Madigan for his “dedication to Public Service and leadership.”

“We believe that in order to unite our state and party, we need to nominate a leader who will bridge the divide and seek solutions for our urgent issues. Rep. Chris Welch has worked his whole life to advocate for his district and for communities across the state. We are confident that he will succeed in leading our party and prioritizing our communities.”

Welch joins Representative Ann Williams and Representative Stephanie Kifowit as candidates in the race, but other candidates can be expected now that Madigan is sidelining himself for the time being.

“I am honored to be called upon my colleagues from the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus to put my name in for consideration,” Welch said in a statement. “This historic moment in Illinois and across the country calls for new representation and unity of democratic beliefs. I want to thank Speaker Madigan for his leadership – it has been a challenging year for us all but I am grateful for his commitment to serving the public.”

The endorsement was unanimous for Welch, which secures him twenty-two votes. He would need 60 votes to be elected Speaker of the House.

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