Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x1 *** Question of the day
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
*** UPDATED x1 *** Question of the day

Friday, Nov 15, 2019

* Which Democratic Senator would you most like to see become the next Senate President? Please explain why and try not to be snarky about it. Your choice doesn’t have to be someone who has a chance of winning, it just has to be someone you’d most like to see in the job.

*** UPDATE *** Press release…

Forward Illinois released this statement following the news of Illinois Senate President John Cullerton’s retirement in January 2020:

“Forward Illinois thanks President Cullerton for his long record of public service and commitment to moving Illinois forward. Working together with Forward Illinois member organizations, Illinois has made significant progress under President Cullerton’s leadership, including marriage equality, raising the minimum wage to $15 for working families, enacting strong legal protections for immigrants and refugees, ensuring access to reproductive healthcare, jumpstarting Illinois’ clean energy economy, and implementing measures to prevent gun violence. Best wishes, President Cullerton.

“But Illinois must keep moving forward. As the Illinois Senate moves forward with selecting its next president, we urge and call on all senators interested in the post to commit to a bold agenda of economic, social, and environmental justice, ensuring public safety from gun violence and climate change, and protecting and advancing the rights of people of color, women, LGBTQ people, immigrants, and refugees. Forward Illinois will hold the next Senate President accountable to this bold agenda and to the values of the Land of Lincoln, including fairness, equality, opportunity, and the dignity of each person in Illinois.”

A historic coalition of Illinois progressive organizations united around a bold agenda, Forward Illinois includes Sierra Club Illinois, Planned Parenthood of Illinois, SEIU, Equality Illinois, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, Chicago Votes, Citizen Action/Illinois, and Local 881 UFCW.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - ILLannoyed - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 1:21 pm:

    Senator Manar. Not only is he a great asset as a legislator, his knowledge of the job is second to none. CoS to Cullerton, senate legislative super star, pol who knows how to cut a deal and survive in a district he shouldn’t have a chance in? Go ahead and just name him Pres, no election needed.

  2. - Donnie Elgin - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 1:22 pm:

    Lightford, she earned it as assist leader since 2009.

  3. - Ed Equity - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 1:24 pm:

    Lightford. Strong history of leadership. Able to work across the aisle. Represents women and people color. Strong on education.

  4. - anon2 - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 1:26 pm:

    Many of the candidates could do the job. I hope whoever wins it will follow Cullerton’s good example of not being excessively partisan, of respecting the minority party, of listening and not threatening.

  5. - Anon - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 1:26 pm:

    Don Harmon. Smart, principled, understands politics, and can raise money.

  6. - 47th Ward - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 1:28 pm:

    Patrick Joyce. Because he hasn’t been there long enough to be ensconced in the broken milieu of “what’s in it for me” politics.

    More seriously, Elgie Sims, for similar reasons.

  7. - Ducky LaMoore - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 1:30 pm:

    Dave Koehler. He is probably the most approachable and nicest politician I have met. But he is probably as old as Cullerton and has more sanity. So undoubtedly he would not want the job.

  8. - OutOfState - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 1:31 pm:

    My votes would be Manar or Lightford. They’re both principled, pragmatic legislators with strong reputations and virtuous characters.

  9. - Two Cents - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 1:31 pm:

    Senator Lightford—she has leadership credentials, government experience, and works toward equitable policy

  10. - chicagocold - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 1:31 pm:

    Lightford. We need a strong leader who will do what is right not just what is popular. Politics seems so reactionary these days and everyone runs to the far left or the far right with the most wild proposals in order to win points they think the voters want, but I really believe most are sick of it

  11. - RNUG - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 1:31 pm:

    Senator Andy Manar .. he’s a survivor and manages to (sometimes eventually) get things done

  12. - Nova - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 1:32 pm:

    Kim Lightford. She is the grown up in the room, always. Grit and grace.

  13. - Rich Miller - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 1:33 pm:

    People, no snark. I’ve had to delete a few already. Stop it.

  14. - 62656 - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 1:36 pm:

    Manar seems very effective & a solid fit for districts that aren’t Safe D.

  15. - Spectre - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 1:36 pm:

    Manar or Lightford. KL- clearly has the leadership qualities needed to lead this chamber. AM- Clearly an intelligent fella and having a downstate senator would do a lot good in ending the portrayal of partisan politics.

  16. - Anon For Now - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 1:37 pm:

    Cunningham or someone else of his vein, though a few mentions above are close and pretty good. I’m of the belief you want a boring person in charge to keep the ship steady.

  17. - truth - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 1:39 pm:

    Steans. I’m pretty sure she won’t end up indicted.

  18. - Ok - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 1:39 pm:

    In all seriousness…

    Hard to see another white man getting this job.

    Sen. Lightford seems like a solid choice.

    Though, Lightford vs. Lightfoot sounds like a battle that would have to bring out the light sabres.

  19. - NotRich - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 1:39 pm:

    I see no reason why the Majority Leader isn’t capable, able, and ready to take 1 step up and be the first female Leader in GA history

  20. - Ok - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 1:40 pm:

    “you want a boring person in charge to keep the ship steady.”

    Harmon and Manar : Vote for me. I’m the boring one.

  21. - Cirion - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 1:40 pm:

    I would have liked to see John Mulroe not leave the Senate and get the spot. Why be a judge?

  22. - twowaystreet - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 1:43 pm:

    Sen. Bush because half the battle with ethics is culture. Having her as pres would be a top down approach to a higher standard in the Senate. It also would help the Dems growing numbers in the suburbs.

  23. - Linus - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 1:45 pm:

    Kim Lightford would be my top pick, for reasons already stated: Principled, experienced, trusted, proven, a hard worker.

    Manar would do extremely well, for many of these same reasons. And Harmon would be a solid choice. But I’d give the edge to Leader Lightford.

  24. - CubsFan16 - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 1:46 pm:

    Manar. Smart, hard working, from downstate. Coalition builder.

  25. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 1:47 pm:

    Toi Hutchinson would have been an interesting pick if she hadn’t quit. She is smart and liberal, but had experience winning elections in a more mixed district.

  26. - prairiestatedem - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 1:49 pm:

    Senator Cunningham, he is thoughtful, honest, principled and hard working. He is someone who could lead the caucus with a great deal of care to the needs of the individual districts and members. He would be the best candidate by far to bridge the racial and geographic complexities we share as Illinoisans and work to make our state a better place for everyone

  27. - Les Nesman - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 1:50 pm:

    Hastings. He’s honest, hard working, former officer in the military, and well liked by his peers. Would make a great Senate President.

  28. - Wilson - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 1:50 pm:

    Munoz - simply a good guy, balanced in his approach, gets along well with people from both parties & would be first Hispanic to lead one of the chambers.

  29. - Southsider - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 1:52 pm:

    Senator Bill Cunningham would bring a Senate President Tom Hynes like calm and work ethic to the chamber. He is a above board politician with a demeanor that is perfect for the job.

  30. - Moe Berg - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 1:53 pm:

    My “If I Had a Time Machine” Pick would be Toi Hutchinson. Smart, friendly, and tough. She got great reviews as NCSL president and did excellent work as Revenue Chair.

    Like Harmon and Lightford. Think Hastings is an interesting dark horse.

  31. - Rutro - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 2:02 pm:

    Manar for the above stated reasons, Cunningham would be good for the caucus as he understands who is up against what.

  32. - theCardinal - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 2:02 pm:

    Tony Munoz has a steady hand, hard woking and can raise money he also works with just about anyone to resolve issues. Maybe Lightford of Maynar if not Tony.

  33. - Over-Under - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 2:06 pm:

    Harmon: He is a pragmatic, progressive, skilled politician with the energy, drive and ability to lead a diverse caucus in a very challenging time for Illinois Democrats.

  34. - Chicago Cynic - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 2:09 pm:

    Harmon - best choice by far. Smart, ethical, capable, knows how to protect and defend his members.

  35. - Bad Politician - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 2:10 pm:


    She’s fair, knowledgable, collaborative and can work across the aisle.

  36. - {Sigh} - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 2:11 pm:

    I vote for Manar. Why? Because he is miles away from the expanding investigation in Chicago. He understands the operations side of the job & he gets the political side. Another reason- to my knowledge he doesn’t have a family member working for PACE, Metra, RTA, ComEd… OR the cannabis industry and doesn’t work for a hospital.

    Some of the previous posts have referred to him as boring, but I view it as no baggage. He isn’t afraid to roll up his sleeves and work on the complex issues- school funding, insulin pricing, etc.

    The senate dems need a leader who can stay calm (light a fire when needed) and unite the caucus.

  37. - Powdered Whig - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 2:16 pm:

    I think Manar because of his experience and the fact that he represents a downstate, Republican leaning area will bring a unique perspective when it comes to cutting deals and compromise.

  38. - phenom_Anon - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 2:18 pm:

    My choices in order Steans, Bush, Manar/Harmon (tie), Lightford.

    Steans and Bush have done more to build coalitions than the others combined. IMHO, Lightford and Manar have too often let bipartisan causes become far more partisan than they should be. But Manar probably has far more institutional knowledge. Harmon has the demeanor but may be too far left for a chamber leader.

  39. - Dotnonymous - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 2:20 pm:

    I don’t know if he wants the job…but Senator Manar is a very reasonable candidate…if you ask me.

  40. - mocking jay - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 2:31 pm:

    Steans. She has a wide range of experience in numerous topics, budget chops, she doesn’t take any bull and she is incredibly intelligent.

  41. - A bored guy - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 2:33 pm:

    Manar would be my first choice for every reason stated above. Two major problems though. 1. I’d be shocked if he actually wanted the job. 2. Would it be wise to have a president in the most swingable district in the state? I don’t think so.

    Wishful thinking, I guess…

  42. - estubborn - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 2:36 pm:

    Harmon has what it takes lead the SDEMS under the dome and on the campaign trail.

  43. - A Jack - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 2:50 pm:

    I would pick Lightford, because I think it would be good to have a woman in the top spot. And she has experience as Majority Leader. Manar would be good as the new Majority Leader.

  44. - Pot calling kettle - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 2:54 pm:

    Sen. Lightford - She was the first name that came to my mind when I heard the news this morning - for all of the reasons stated above.

  45. - Billy Sunday - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 3:13 pm:

    If you want to continue the J. Cullterston leadership style, I would go with Sen.Don Harmon: focused; team-player; intelligent; an attorney; and has the experience to work closely with Speaker Madigan. Lastly, he has served as the Senate’s Pro Temp.

  46. - Responsa - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 3:21 pm:

    Andy Manar. For balance, need one of the state’s top pols operating in Springfield to be from downstate. With Gov Pritzker and Mike Madigan both from the Chicago metro area that suggests Manar is the correct balance at this time.

  47. - SOIL M - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 3:22 pm:

    My choice would also be someone no longer there.
    Donne Trotter. While he was a Chicago area Senator, he never forgot, and never stopped working for the Southern Illinois where he came from. He would work for the entire State, and stand against the Regional bickering. Would help to Unite, against those who keep seeking to divide us based on geography.

  48. - Just Me 2 - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 3:25 pm:

    Can we ask Greg Harris to move a few blocks, be appointed Senator, and then be Senate President?

  49. - SYSK - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 3:26 pm:

    Harmon by a mile. Only one who can improve the SDEMS terrible fundraising program and navigate redistricting. Think he will also make very smart choices about who he surrounds himself with and create a very impressive leadership team.

  50. - Watcher - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 3:26 pm:

    This is an easy one. Lightford has earned the right to make history here, and she would be great in that job. Steans, Harmon and Manar all would be too, but they should not jump over the majority leader. I think someone like Sims should be disqualified because he is also a lobbyist like Cullerton. Isn’t that one of the problems the legislature needs to address? Legislators who are lobbyists?

  51. - Glengarry - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 3:27 pm:

    Harmon and the Gov don’t really see eye to eye. Manar has the RHA vote against him. I’m thinking Lightford is the choice.

  52. - Fantasma - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 3:35 pm:

    Harmon by far. His door is always open (unlike Manar, Munoz and Lightford’s). He’s ALWAYS around and a tireless wiener. Harmon understands anything that is thrown at him and if he doesn’t, he learns it (unlike others). He is a thoughtful, fair member and it’s his time. Steans would be my second choice, only because I don’t believe she wants it. She is happy doing what she is doing.

  53. - {Sigh} - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 3:38 pm:

    @ Quibbler - when I set down at the table with my family, RHA never comes up. It would be political suicidal to let RHA to be the lone issue in selecting the Senate President. Families care about education, cost of pharmaceuticals & jobs, etc.

    And that white guy you reference REPRESENTS a diverse district and is respected by those that do not look like him. In fact I’m certain that his district does NOT refer to him as a white guy! They view him as a friend & continue to elect him to be their voice in Springfield.

  54. - Responsa - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 3:39 pm:

    OK “tireless wiener” has me curious.

  55. - Shytown - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 3:40 pm:

    Andy Manar is a front runner. He’s well liked and respected. Bridge builder. Scandal free. Knows the process inside and out. The RHA is not relevant here. Dems understand that vote.

  56. - Veil of Ignorance - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 3:42 pm:

    I have a ton of respect for a number of the names out there, but I would just argue that you want your leader to be in a safer seat so they can focus on the rest of the caucus. Manar is one of the most effective communicators, but I fear he’d be even more of a target if he’s the Senate President. I’m also not sure Steans wants this role as opposed to continuing to focus on the nitty gritty substance of policy change where she’s been able to move some pretty big items, so I’d narrow it to Lightford or Harmon. I don’t have enough info to form an opinion on Lightford, but Harmon’s definitely sharp, strategic and is very safe with the Oak Park crowd.

  57. - Former Merit Comp - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 3:44 pm:

    I would have loved to see John Sullivan stick around for this. The most fair, down to earth politician I think I’ve ever known.

  58. - Been There - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 3:47 pm:

    ==== @Quibbler - I’d recheck that roll call on the RHA. Manar wasn’t the only one. The final vote only had 34 in the Senate and 64 in the House. Doesn’t seem like it was just Manar.===
    There were a few Dem present votes if I recall

  59. - getreal2019 - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 3:47 pm:

    Don Harmon hands down, he is a proven leader. Manar would be a nightmare. Bush has a problem relating to minorities. Lughtford cant even lead the Black Caucus effectively, she is a non-starter. Steans is great for fundraising but may be too far left to gain consensus on key votes with Republicans.

  60. - Been There - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 3:55 pm:

    I would like Munoz. Reason? I know him the best. Not the best reason but that was the question.
    But also you basically have two main jobs as senate president. One is to deal with your members and the legislative agenda. The other is to get yourself and your fellow members elected or re-elected. The later is almost more important because if you screw that up you can’t take care of the former.
    Munoz obviously has the political chops. Lightfoot, Harmon and Manar do too. Hastings is up and coming. Cunningham has the probably the best political sense but fundraising is a bigger and bigger part now a days and that is not his strong suit.
    So I will stick with Munoz

  61. - TimesUP - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 3:55 pm:

    Manar is the most qualified, diplomatic Senator in the Chamber. He brings with them strong relationships with the Governors Office, organized labor, education groups to name a few. He has it what it takes to make tough choices and stand up to statehouse goons. Harmon is more is the same. He undermined the Senate President at every step and was constantly working behind his back. Also he was huge Biss supporter.

  62. - Telly - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 4:00 pm:

    == The RHA is not relevant here. Dems understand that vote. ==

    Agreed. Might be a problem in a statewide primary (although Manar did vote for HB 40,) but not a problem among his fellow senators.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Federal judge denies ILGOP's TRO request: "Granting Plaintiffs the relief they seek would pose serious risks to public health"
* Today's must-watch video
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY: New ads; More react to Wednesday's edition (password fixed)
* After returning from Florida, Rep. Bailey won't get tested "on the advice of his doctor"
* We're number one... in FBI gun background checks during June
* White Sox vs. Cardinals at Field of Dreams game
* Lightfoot spins tall tale to justify preemptive sweeps
* Well, that escalated quickly
* If you want schools to reopen, wear a mask, keep your distance and wash your hands
* 1.43 million Americans, 45.25 thousand Illinoisans filed new unemployment claims last week
* Open thread
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...





Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0

Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller