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Question of the day: Golden Horseshoe Awards

Thursday, Dec 12, 2019

* The 2019 Golden Horseshoe Award for Best Government Spokesperson goes to John Patterson with the Senate Democrats

Patterson is smart, kind and is a go-to for reporters to understand process, which is so essential in reporting. He’s weathered plenty of Senate controversies with a lot of grace — and good advice.

Yep. The man is a true gem.

Jordan Abudayyeh, another gem, receives honorable mention.

* The 2019 Golden Horseshoe Award for Best Government Staff/Official goes to Anne Caprara

Anne deserves an unbelievable amount of credit for steering this ship. She has won a lot of fans inside and outside the government, mostly for her strong judgment and focus on executing the governor’s agenda. She is a force of nature who has proven to Illinois’ political class that a fresh perspective is good for this old boys’ club.

She’ll probably hate it that we didn’t give this award to one of her staffers, but she earned every bit of this and more.

Congrats to our winners!

* On to today’s categories…

* Best Illinois State Representative - Republican

* Best Illinois State Representative - Democrat

Please explain your nominations or they won’t count and please nominate in both categories. Thanks. Have fun!

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Mr. RJG - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 9:59 am:

    I proudly nominate Represenative Kelly Cassidy, this year Represenative Cassidy got two major bills enacted into law which is not an easy task in the IL General Assembly. Congratulations Rep. Cassidy on a successful year.

  2. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 10:01 am:

    Please nominate in both categories. Your vote counts less if you only nominate one.

  3. - efudd - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 10:05 am:

    Patrick Windhorst-Republican

    The man showed up at my door during the election, by himself. He was quiet, reserved, and listened to my many issues with Rauner.
    As a lifelong Democrat who did not like the way Finne-Phelps was gifted her seat, he got my vote. Since his election he has been present at many local organizations’ fund raisers. Although I disagree with a lot of his platform, he reminds me of the moderate Republicans of my youth.
    You know, the ones that didn’t make you cringe when they opened their mouth.

  4. - efudd - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 10:07 am:

    Kelly Cassidy-

    Hope she runs for governor one day.

  5. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 10:07 am:

    Again, nominate in both categories.

  6. - RH - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 10:14 am:

    Republican Tom Bennett
    One of the hardest working Elected Officials I have ever seen.

    Democrat Nick Smith, Always has time for anyone, nice, humble and a great sense of humor. If Nick says he supports your efforts you can count on his tireless work. Go out of your way to meet him, he likely will go far!

  7. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 10:24 am:

    Republican: Rep. Skillcorn. Though in complete opposition to him on many issues, he’s nominated for his moral courage, putting aside his personal feelings about marijuana and recognizing that marijuana prohibition is an abject and destructive failure. He gets the nom for bucking his party and taking a tough but important vote to legalize marijuana.

    Democratic: Rep. Cassidy, for her hard work and perseverance to sponsor and help pass a historic marijuana legalization bill, the first of its kind, where other states have failed. That is a huge accomplishment by itself. Here’s hoping that she becomes Illinois’ first female House Speaker.

  8. - ILLannoyed - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 10:28 am:

    This is easy. Dem- Rep Cassidy what she has done the past 2 years has her in the running for my legislator of a lifetime. From rec to #MeToo movement she’s showed us all how to get the job done.
    GOP- Always will be Rep Butler. The guy works tirelessly and is always eager to explain things down to a nuts and bolts level.

  9. - Rutro - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 10:30 am:

    Cassidy did get two big bills, but I nominate Madigan “himself”, he got the huge bills passed, and is amazingly still the speaker despite a couple harassment scandals, a bullying scandal, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars that should be spent on campaigns spent instead on lawyers and settlements, and numerous federal investigations that are clearly looking at him.

    For the republicans (only because its required) I nominate Dan Brady, as a funeral director and embalmer he can symbolically bury the caucus as they have never been irrelevant and unproductive in the history of this state. Pritzker has done more for the republicans than any house member.

  10. - NorthsideNoMore - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 10:31 am:

    GOP Norinne Hammond always thoughtful and gives you a fair shake, will explain what you need to do to get her vote if she does not like a portion of your bill(s) and she will take a hard vote. (Tim Butler was a close second for much the same reason and he is a hard worker)
    Dems Larry Walsh Jr. he will put people in a room and get all the information out in the air so negotiations can get done one offs dont work with him. He is accessable and wil share insites with you as well. Nick Smith is my second choice he is a no BS guy straightforward when it comes to bills and positions.

  11. - Professor Longhair - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 10:43 am:

    R - without a doubt Tom Demmer. Total stud. Handles countless complicated issues with ease and never is too busy to take any meeting. Instrumental in getting any reforms done June 1 and brought together enough votes to get capital passed. All that and he isn’t old enough to run for president.

    D - Jay Hoffman gets things done, with ease and without making enemies. Man of his word even if you don’t want to hear it Jay is delightful to deal with in the building and just as great outside.

  12. - couldn't avoid it - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 10:46 am:

    Part of me really wants to nominate Arroyo.

    But in all seriousness, I will echo what other’s have said about Cassidy and the incredible year she has had as a legislator. For the Republicans, I’d like to nominate David Welter. He’s a young guy who will probably be around for a while. If you look at some of the democratic-led initiatives he served as a republican chief cosponsor on (cannabis, wage history, etc.), this may be an early sign of a faction of the GOP which may emerge post-Trump

  13. - JS Mill - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 10:52 am:

    =Republican Tom Bennett
    One of the hardest working Elected Officials I have ever seen.=

    Ditto. Genuine honest and humble guy.

    Democrat- Michael J. Madigan- For al of his many negatives and the fact that I cannot stand the guy, he withstood Rauner and continues to live rent free in the heads of most of the ILGOP. He takes the heat off of many in the ILDP.

  14. - Wylie Coyote - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 10:57 am:

    Ditto Cassidy and Butler. Both work tirelessly and across the aisle to get the job done. And they respect those who may differ in opinion. And most importantly, both are Cubs fans.

  15. - Because I said so.... - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 11:08 am:

    Democrat Kelly Burke. She is smart as a whip, always prepared and is very down to earth and approachable. She takes the time to listen and doesn’t grandstand.

    Republican Tom Demmer. Another smart legislator, approachable and I really appreciate his respectful demeanor on the House floor.

  16. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 11:17 am:

    ===And most importantly, both are Cubs fans===

    Learn to read the room. /s

  17. - Honeybear - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 11:20 am:

    So I’m not at the point where I can forgive any Republican for the Rauner years so forgive me Rich for this nomination.
    Former Rep. David Harris now the Dir. of IDOR because he voted against Rauner and put the interests of his state first to continue to help the state with his expertise at IDOR. That’s as far as I’ll go to praise any republican.
    Sorry, still bitter

    Dem Rep
    Of course the indefatigable Katie Stuart. Serious as sepsis I’d take a bullet to the face for her. She is everywhere and involved in so much for her constituents. And just a quick stock tip. Find out and buy the stock of the shoe company she uses. She goes through so many tennis shoes walking her district its insane. She knows her people, all of her people, like nobody.
    Look, I’m not a big person, I’m just a frontline stateworker. But we invited her to our AFSCME Local Christmas party and she totally came and stayed for quite some time. We were thrilled and our Local President lauded her in his welcome remarks. 500 plus AFSCME’s roared their appreciation. She fought like crazy for us during the Rauner years. Politicians usually only show up when they want something from you. Not our Katie. She showed up to be with her people, to hear their concerns, and to encourage us in our work for Illinois.
    I wish I was as eloquent as OW to secure her this Golden Horseshoe. I want it so bad for her.

  18. - Guv'nah Bond - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 11:22 am:

    GOP: Leader Durkin. Coming out of a tough primary funded by those who now work with him; after wrangling the House GOP Caucus for four years under the tumult of Gov. Rauner; now dealing with a Dem Gov and Dem control of both chambers, Durkin has shown time and time again that he can get things done. He works with both sides. Nothing shows his worth more than the enactment of the pro-business agenda during negotiations this spring, while also bringing 20 GOP votes along for the capital bills. And, he has also overseen a much-needed overhaul of the HRO operations.

    Dem: Rep. Cassidy. A leading progressive who actually can talk to and get things done with conservatives. Humorous with a tough love side. Not afraid to lead the way on big issues including #MeToo. Just by getting recreational cannabis and the Reproductive Health Act into law should be enough, but she does so much more.
    Should be in leadership…in fact she should be leader/speaker. And she bakes a mean cookie or blondie.

  19. - Take a closer look - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 11:41 am:

    Anyone watching the legislature would have to nominate Democratic State Rep Chris Welch. That guy’s 2019 Legislative Session was one to watch by itself. His record of fighting for equity and fairness on corporate boards, the NCAA name, likeness and image issue, and workforce opportunity for black and brown communities was something to watch this year. He did this all while being a leading male voice on the Reproductive Health Act. That followed a year where he fought for issues like the Illinois Trust Act, which made Illinois the most welcoming state in the Country for immigrants. He has also handled a tough assignment as Chairman of the House Executive Committee that has garnered him respect from Democrats and Republicans. Don’t sleep on Welch who has growing respect on both sides of the aisle.

  20. - Take a closer look - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 11:42 am:

    Keith Wheerler would be my nominee on the Republican side of the aisle. He’s a quiet, but extremely effective leader on the Republican side of the aisle.

  21. - Ty - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 11:44 am:

    I’m going to nominate two members, both for the exact same reason: Kelly Burke, Dem and Dan Brady, GOP.

    I’ve had the opportunity to watch them work in the higher ed space, where there are difficult problems to solve and not a lot of opportunities for legislators to crank out press releases and win glory. The AIM High scholarship program they helped craft is perfect example of a real bipartisan, legislative success story that doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

    Burke and Brady don’t spend their time tweeting and chatting up reporters — they just work hard, build consensus, legislate, and wake up the next morning and do it over again. We need more like them.

  22. - NotMe - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 12:06 pm:

    Dem: Jehan Gordon-Booth - after a much deserved elevation into leadership, JGB went all in on two of the toughest bills before the body this year and was critical to passage of both. Navigating the complexities of the cannabis bill with the Black caucus would have been enough to earn the honor, but to do that at the same time as managing the caucus’ needs for the capital bill was a super human effort. She’s always on top of her game, works collaboratively and across the aisle and always has a smile on her face while doing it.
    Rep: Dave Welter gets the nod here. He is the one to watch in that caucus. Hate to be a broken record on the cannabis bill, but his role there can’t be overstated. This was a tough one for a lot of folks on his side of the aisle, he took a lot of heat, but stuck to his principles to stay on the right side of history.

  23. - #JustAsk - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 12:34 pm:

    Democrat- Kelly Burke is strong, smart and easily approachable. She is always practical and will take the time needed to review the issue whether she supports the proposal or not. She is one to watch.

    Republican- Tom Demmer is top notch. No matter what side of the aisle you are one- Demmer delivers. He returns every call and is a fresh face for the sometimes grumpy House Republicans.

  24. - walker - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 12:48 pm:

    Jim Durkin, in an incredibly difficult role, picks his spots and scores. When he stood up on the last scheduled day of Session, and held up a list of demanded bills that we all must pass for the good of the state, before going home — he reminded me of Martin Luther pounding his theses onto the door of the Roman Church. We got two extra days, and most of his bills, some of which had waited for years.

    Hard to deny Kelly Cassidy, who’s plain hard to deny. She perseveres with respect, hard work, and intelligence.

    Both carry tough loads, and take a lot of heat without flinching.

  25. - Downstate - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 12:49 pm:

    For Republicans, I have to go with Norine Hammond. She fights tirelessly for her district and for the State of Illinois in general. She takes tough votes despite his attempts, she was never bought by Rauner.

    For the Dems, I’d have to go with retiring member Art Turner. He is a class act in grace and dignity and the House will definitely be poorer for his absence.

  26. - Southern IL - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 1:19 pm:

    Dem - agree with her on nothing but Cassidy has gotten some massive legislative wins in 2019.

    Rep. - Windhorst is one of the more impressive freshman in a long time. After more than a decade as a prosecutor, he cut his pay in half to become a state rep (is he crazy?). He’s reserved but informed and impactful in his floor/committee questions. When he speaks on the floor people listen - both sides. He’s regularly sought out within House GOP caucus for his legal expertise. Right up there with Demmer and Bourne as future of the GOP.

  27. - SaulGoodman - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 1:21 pm:

    Republican: David Welter - he has really become a great legislator who is willing to take principled stands. Cannabis probably doesn’t pass without Welter at the table from day 1, and really dragging (just enough of) his caucus along. He is also just supper good people that wants to do good for his district and state.

    Democrat: JGB - she is a force for criminal justice reform, but she is another one who was absolutely needed to pass cannabis. Her ability to help bring the black caucus along through all of the thorny issues was impressive, while continuing to champion the most progressive and needed prices of racial justice in the bill.

  28. - To the bill - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 1:22 pm:

    Dem- John Connor is an admirable statesmen who treats even freshmen staff and inters with dignity and respect. He’s going to do great things in the Senate.

    Repub.- Tom Bennett had a tough year physically, yet maintained a positive attitude through it all. Plus he’s a gentleman and an incredibly sincere guy.

  29. - mira - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 1:22 pm:

    Dem - Chris Welch is one of the hardest working legislators I know. While many legislators will hand off issues to staff or lobbyists, Chris personally spends time negotiating each bill. This dedication is noticed and appreciated. I can’t wait to see how far he’ll go!

    Rep - Just look at Tom Bennett’s facebook page and you’ll see how much time he spends with his constituents. He always seems to be at Diner 24 or Baby Bulls talking to groups in his community. He takes time to learn issues and ask questions of others. He is also one of the most kind legislators in the GA. We’re lucky to have him!

  30. - Pinky - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 1:28 pm:

    Kelly Burke — She is a real bad ass. Always put together and super nice. A great legislator who understands her district.

    Dan Brady - He is always calm and collected. True statesman.

  31. - Joe Bidenopolous - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 1:43 pm:

    For the R’s - Jim Durkin. He’s got a mish mash of members from crazy to crazier (and some good ones) and how he holds it together, I’ll never know. But the holdout and the concessions he got at the end of session are why he should get the nod.

    For the D’s - hard to argue with all of the Cassidy supporters. She did yeo(wo)man’s work this year.

  32. - John Amdor - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 1:48 pm:

    Dang, this a tough one. Maybe there should be a separate category for best first session. There are some really outstanding freshmen.

    I’d say best Democratic rep this year is Leader Will Davis. He takes on tough issues, is direct with you when he disagrees, and is a fierce advocate for his district.

    For the GOP, I second Rep. Tim Butler. He’s another guy who will clearly tell you when he disagrees. His work to help craft a capital program that could pass with strong Republican support is to be commended. I also admire his command of Illinois history and his correct opinion on which state flag is best.

  33. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 2:05 pm:

    Best Illinois State Representative - Republican

    One of the most important things a member does is be accessible to the people in their district. Some districts are incredibly vast, with lots of space between folks. It could be a lot easier and mail it in, so to speak, show up at some big things, but, overall do what you can to seem seen.

    Then there’s Rep. Bennett. He’s the type of member that goes everywhere, sees everyone, and if you haven’t seen him, that’s on you. His colleagues call him one of the hardest working in their caucus, reading his twitter feed exhausts the hardened of road warriors. Being involved in a serious car accident, Rep. Bennett was concerned about legislative paperwork lost, because that is who he is, and I’m glad he’s a member of the House.

    I nominate Rep. Thomas Bennett.

    Rep. Bennett’s hard work and dedication, even during and overcoming a serious accident is recognized by constituents and colleagues alike, and is something worth acknowledging with great appreciation and respect.

  34. - Watcher - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 2:09 pm:

    Rep. Welch and Rep. Cassidy are tough to choose between. They both had monster sessions. Welch passed Voting in jails, Corporate Board Diversity and the NCAA name, likeness and image bill out of the house. And he was right there with Cassidy on Reproductive Health Act and Cannabis. Those two are the best in the business. Hands down the best republican in the House is Tim Butler. Represents Springfield well but finds ways to work with Democrats on tough issues. He stood with Welch and Cassidy on some tough bills this year.

  35. - Les Nesman - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 2:12 pm:

    Best Dem Rep - The one and only Larry walsh Jr. There is no other member in the General Assembly of a more deserving honor. I hope when he wins he hangs this award next to the life size picture of him hanging in his office. In all seriousness Rep Walsh is a great legislator who takes on some complex and at times controversial pieces of legislation. He tries and works with all sides on the issue to come to a consensus that will get the bill to move forward.

    Best Representative (republican) - This is a tough one but I would nominated David Welter. He is becoming one of the few remaining GOP reps that will work across the aisle and take up legislation that his republican colleagues wont.

  36. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 2:15 pm:

    Best Illinois State Representative - Democrat

    When I look back at this last legislative session, if you break things down to what got done, who was where, how roll calls went, even the aftermath of it all, what made it so interesting for me were names popping up, taking on different things, and when it came down to things, what members were the ones others turned to when the end was in sight. If coffee is for closers, then this member probably has a coffee pot full of coffee.

    Rep. Kelly Cassidy continues to be someone in the mix, mixing it up, and letting cooler heads prevail. Rep. Cassidy is one of the members you look to see where she’s at so you can get a gauge how something is going to end. When a bridge is needed in their own house, her colleague and others working with them touch base or enlist her to make sure everyone knows what page is being sung.

    I nominate Rep. Kelly Cassidy

    I know that with Rep. Cassidy it’s about the work and the solutions, and those who turn to her know that too.

  37. - A Guy - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 2:19 pm:

    A few weeks ago on Chicago Tonight, the program featured Kelly Burke and Deanne Mazzochi. For a brief time, we were able to witness 2 very clearly intelligent women who were largely on different sides, but making strong and respectful arguments and defending their positions and the position of their respective caucuses. It was so different from what we’ve seen for as long as I can remember. It was a brilliant moment to witness.
    Therefore they get the nod from me.
    Republican Deanne Mazzochi
    Democrat Kelly Burke

  38. - Loosha - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 2:24 pm:

    (1) Best Illinois State Representative-Democrat: Representative Chris Welch

    Over the past year, Representative Welch has earned a reputation of introducing forward-thinking legislation that focuses on issues of equity and representation and holds big businesses to account, including his Corporate Board Diversity bill in the spring, and his more recent Student Athlete Endorsement Act. And even though his work frequently results in some heated debate or controversy among his colleagues, he still manages to get it done.

    But where Welch really excels is in coalition and relationship building. Welch is unique in his ability to see beyond divisions of race, ethnicity, gender, or socioeconomic status based on a core belief: justice for only a few isn’t justice at all. Welch has not shied away from sponsoring pro-immigrant legislation, and has been a key actor in bridging the Black-Brown divide in the Illinois Legislature. What is perhaps most meaningful for those working with Welch is that his investment in the issues of others is rooted in his personal ethos and permeates all his interactions, political or otherwise. After just one conversation with Chris Welch—no matter where you work, what your position is, or who you know— he will remember your name and what matters to you. For Springfield newbies, that can make all the difference.

    (2) Best Illinois State Representative-Republican: Representative Tim Butler

    Representative Butler is a moderate legislator that crosses the aisle for commonsense solutions in order to pursue what he believes to be right for our state. He is a rare breed of Republican who prioritizes resolving problems, not politics— something that we are in dire need of in Illinois.

  39. - Prob solvers - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 2:32 pm:

    D: Chris Welch
    Clear that Rep Chris Welch is a rising super star. He chairs house exec committee and is extremely effective at advancing complicated issues. Welch is well liked by both parties and governor, sponsoring several attention grabbing policies important to African Americans like corporate diversity, student athletes, and diverse workforce for capital bill. He is also a bridge builder with latino caucus with access to justice program and trust act. He uses his stature to address serious issues affecting low income and minority communities, creating pathways and job ladders for those at the bottom to climb up.
    But what makes Welch special and poised for higher/statewide office is that he often transcends his party and base by building coalitions with white and business allies to solve serious issues for all communities like education, healthcare and environment.

    R: Tim Butler
    Rep Butler always listens even if he disagrees. Not easy to be a moderate of any party these days but Butler is fair, calm, not ideological or stubborn. He bucks his party at times to do what is right for the state.

  40. - Tribe - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 2:39 pm:

    Rep Chris Welch was a rockstar this year. From his fight for immigration rights to NAACP to carrying a repeal of parental notice. He negotiates and works harder than most, all while reforming the Executive Committee.

  41. - Tribe - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 2:49 pm:

    Rep Chris Welch was a rockstar this year. From his fight for immigration rights to NAACP to carrying a repeal of parental notice. He negotiates and works harder than most, all while reforming the Executive Committee.

    Rep Tom Demmer should get this hands down. He’s one of the most trusted and valued members of the caucus and truly works both sides of aisle.

  42. - Bobby_7 - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 3:18 pm:

    Republican: Rep. David Welter, watch what this kid does in the future. He is level headed and is willing to work with anyone that has a good idea (i.e. cannabis)

    Democrat: Rep. Kelly Cassidy, this shouldn’t even need an explanation….. She’s the real deal and a force reckoned with.

  43. - A Guy - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 3:22 pm:

    Honorable mention to Chris Welch for working his Whip count here. /s lol

  44. - JJ - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 3:38 pm:

    Chris Welch has been phenomenal in advancing progressive legislation. He works hard to find compromise, and motivates his party to do the right thing.

    Jim Durkin is the epitome of sensible compromise. Stands firm when he needs to and works with everyone from community groups to opposing party leadership.

  45. - Soccermom - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 3:42 pm:

    I second the votes for Cassidy and Durkin.

  46. - Sorry not sorry - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 4:43 pm:

    HDem: Celina Villanueva. Her passion and commitment to representing her community has brought much needed breath of fresh air to the chamber. Let us not forget the emotional and moving speech she gave on the floor for her bill to ensure immigrant families are able to call their local police when they’re victims of a crime without fear of being separated from their families. While the other side shamefully threw coded racist language during debate, she let her family story be heard. She reminded the chamber about the history and sins of our country, making it clear to every bad actor on the other side that unless your indigenous or Black, you’re an immigrant to this land. Government was not built for people like Celina Villanueva both because she’s a woman and a person of color. With everything going on right now, representation like the one members like her and others provide is desperately needed in the overwhelmingly white and male world that is politics.

  47. - Someone You Should Know - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 10:28 pm:

    For Republican State Rep: I vote Jim Durkin, Durkin is one of the best Minority Leaders I have seen. Under awful odds, he was able to accomplish much of his agenda this year, by holding his cards until the last hand when his votes were needed., He provided the votes for the budget and also the capital plan. He allowed many of his members to vote for issues that would otherwise be controversial for Republicans like the Marijuana initiative. He did this all while quelling a dissident faction from the Eastern bloc.

    Democratic State Rep: Chris Welch, Chris has flourished as Executive Chair, he has been fair and equitable to a small minority caucus. Chris shepherded the Capitol Bill and the Casino Bill through Exec this year, two very heavy loads. He did this while being excessively fair to the minority. He worked well with his minority spokesman to bring order to a committee that could have been extremely raucous under different circumstances.

    He also protected the rights of women with the RHA Bill.

    He brings common sense to the house, there are times he can be a bit partisan on the floor in the position he is in, but he tempers that partisan ship with the respect he has for the minority caucus.

    Many other reps did well this year, but these two shined the most in my eyes.

  48. - Southsider - Friday, Dec 13, 19 @ 12:48 am:

    Rep Demmer did an outstanding job in his first year as a top leader. He helped rally the troops after the tough Rauner years and showed a willingness to work with the Dems, despite the fact most of his caucus wanted to run the other way. He is always open to listening to all sides of an issue and never dismissive or rude if he disagrees. If more GOP emulated his style they’d be much more successful.

    Rep Welch had the most successful legislative session of his career and did more in one year than most do in an entire career. Many may not realize the incredible amount of time he spent working behind the scenes to get all these issues passed — items that weren’t on the Governor or leaders lists, so he had to carry them on his own. He showed his colleagues and those under the dome what he could really do when given the chance to shine. This was his year.

  49. - WonderWomen - Friday, Dec 13, 19 @ 1:03 am:

    House Dems — The Women’s Caucus for taking the lead on trying to change the culture within their caucus and for their staff. They get a lot of heat from other women who don’t necessarily approve of their methods, but they’re the ones who should get credit for many of the changes that have taken place in the Capitol. They didn’t worry about snappy press pops or false narratives. They rolled up their sleeves and did the work. They forced the Speaker to do an internal investigation and hire Maggie Hickey; organized dozens of meetings with staff and stakeholders to get first hand accounts of the environment in and around the Capitol; implemented civility training for all the Dem members; fought to have equal representation in leadership, on key committees and in the chair; pushed to have the RHA called when it appeared to be all but a dead issue; and demanded a seat at the table and had one for all of the major initiatives. Before certain posters scream these women didn’t stand with victims, please realize that you don’t have to publicly acknowledge every story or say every victims name, and choosing to tackle the issue rather than individual stories does not mean you don’t support the victim or support the accused. Sometimes letting the victim tell their own story and be the story is a suitable response.

    Rep McCombie has proven she’s a force to be reckoned with. She’s reasonable and thoughtful, and pretty darn funny.

  50. - Newt - Friday, Dec 13, 19 @ 8:10 am:

    Dem: Kelly Cassidy had a great year. She passed bills that carried her name, but were the product of many individuals, not just Cassidy. She took every opportunity to get her name out there and take credit for nearly all of the governors office accomplishments. Plus her wife gor a high ranking job at a marijuana company And she avoided it becoming a scandal. In this environment, for that to happen and people not scream “corruption” is incredible. Taking credit and avoiding blame is the hallmark of a great politician. So Cassidy deserves the nod.

    GOP: Tom Demmer. Because those in the minority who still try to be helpful and relevant should be recognized.

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