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Local News

Will County Democratic officials urge Madigan to resign as speaker, party chair

They joined over 50 from around the state in signing letter

Get federal, state and suburban county executive races here.

Several elected officials from across Illinois, including some from Will County, signed a letter calling on Michael Madigan to resign as speaker of the Illinois House and as chair of the Democratic Party of Illinois.

The letter was published Tuesday on the blog hosting platform Medium and was signed by more than 50 local elected officials, county and township party members and former candidates. They called on Madigan to "do right by the people of Illinois" and step down from his posts leading the Illinois House and state party.

"We’re each brought to this point by different circumstances, but are united around a simple belief: Illinois Democrats are in dire need of new leadership," the officials said in the letter.

Will County Board members Beth Rice, D-Bolingbrook, and Rachel Ventura, D-Joliet signed the letter.

Other local signers include Plainfield Township Democrats Vice Chair Muriel Briel, Joliet Junior College Trustee Alicia Morales and Plainfield Park District Commissioner Jason Rausch.

Sara Dady, a Rockford-area attorney who ran in 2018 against U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Channahon, also signed the letter.

Chris Kennedy and former state Sen. Daniel Biss, who both ran for governor in 2018, signed the letter.

The officials said in the letter that they were "not commenting here on guilt or innocence in the legal sense," a reference to the bribery scandal Madigan was implicated in, but not charged, involving the utility company ComEd.

"This is about the ability to lead our party as we enter the most important election in living memory, and to lead the House as we encounter the most difficult challenges Illinois government has faced in decades," they wrote.

There has been a chorus of calls for Madigan to resign over his alleged connections to the scandal. Republican legislators and frequent critics of the longtime speaker, including some from Will County, and even Gov. JB Pritzker have called on Madigan to answer for the scandal.

Madigan has denied any wrongdoing and has said he would not step down.

The signees argued that Madigan's leadership and the "ongoing corruption scandal" is "threatening" the party's ability to achieve its goals. These include navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, getting a progressive tax approved by voters in November and helping Democrats get elected up and down the ballot, they wrote.

Madigan is the longest-serving House speaker in the state's history, having served all but two years in that role since 1983. He's also led the Illinois State Democratic Party since 1998.

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