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Madigan names second successor after forcing out first pick

Madigan resigned his seat as a state representative one week ago, little more than a month after surrendering the gavel as Speaker of the Illinois House.
Illinois’ 22nd District seat now sits empty just 72 hours after being filled as former House...
Illinois’ 22nd District seat now sits empty just 72 hours after being filled as former House Speaker Michael Madigan’s pick to replace him in the house didn’t work out.(WIFR)
Published: Feb. 25, 2021 at 1:38 PM CST
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CHICAGO (CBS) — For the second time in only five days, former Illinois State Rep. Michael Madigan and other Democratic Party officials have picked a successor for his seat in the Illinois House, after his first choice was forced to resign less than three days after he was sworn in.

Thursday morning, Madigan and other Democratic committeepersons from the 22nd District picked Angelica Guerrero-Cuellar to fill the seat. Cuellar was sworn in a few minutes later, and the meeting lasted less than 10 minutes overall, according to CBS Chicago.

The move came one day after Madigan’s first pick for successor, Edward Guerra Kodatt, resigned after less than three days on the job.

Kodatt resigned from the Illinois House on Wednesday, a day after Madigan and Ald. Marty Quinn (13th) issued a statement calling on Kodatt to step down over “alleged questionable conduct.” Madigan and Quinn did not elaborate on what that conduct was, according to CBS Chicago.

Madigan said he backed Guerrero-Cuellar because she received the second-highest vote count during the first meeting to fill his vacant seat on Sunday. Guerrero-Cuellar, a community services volunteer, was nominated by Ald. Silvana Tabares (23rd).

As the 13th Ward Democratic committeeman, the former House Speaker controls 56 percent of the weighted vote to fill the Illinois House seat in the 22nd District, giving him the discretion to handpick his successor.

Madigan resigned his seat as a state representative one week ago, little more than a month after surrendering the gavel as Speaker of the Illinois House.

Madigan also resigned Monday as chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party. He has kept his seat as 13th Ward Democratic Committeeman.

Madigan lost his seat as Illinois House Speaker only after he was implicated last year in the sweeping ComEd bribery scandal.

“It’s no secret that I have been the target of vicious attacks by people who sought to diminish my many achievements lifting up the working people of Illinois. The fact is, my motivation for holding elected office has never wavered. I have been resolute in my dedication to public service and integrity, always acting in the interest of the people of Illinois,” Madigan said in a statement.

Despite Madigan’s nearly 40-year reign as Speaker, during which he became seen as the most powerful politician in the state, it had appeared certain for weeks he would not get another term, after 19 House Democrats announced last year that they would not vote to re-elect him due to the ComEd scandal, leaving him short of the 60 votes he needed.

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