* Daily Herald…
New Illinois House Speaker Chris Welch’s leadership team, which he announced Thursday, does not have enough suburban representation and includes too many Michael Madigan loyalists, says Democratic state Rep. Kathleen Willis of Addison.
The team also does not include any of the women who ran for House Speaker — Willis, Rep. Stephanie Kifowit of Oswego and Rep. Ann Williams of Chicago, she noted.
Neither Willis nor Rep. Fred Crespo, a Democrat from Hoffman Estates, was retained by Welch in House leadership.
Suburban representation will include only Reps. Natalie Manley of Joliet and Robyn Gabel of Evanston, plus Rep. Deb Conroy of Villa Park in one of six new positions of caucus whip, which do not pay leadership stipends.
Um, the new House Speaker (remember him?) is from the suburbs.
Rep. Marcus Evans’ district has a big chunk of suburbia. Also, there’s Rep. Elizabeth Hernandez. Last time I checked, Cicero was in the suburbs. [Rep. Mary Flowers’ district also includes a chunk of suburbia.]
* Meanwhile, here’s Rep. Stephanie Kifowit’s take…
“I assumed people would be appreciative and supportive,” she told me earlier this week. “In reality, what I found was my candidacy was not taken seriously.”
I’d say that sentiment could bring an emotional kind of exhaustion to anyone who already was physically tired. But after getting a few days of solid shut-eye following all of last week’s drama, Kifowit, a Marine veteran who does not back down from adversity, insists there are no sour grapes. […]
Even though there’s plenty of speculation that Welch, a Madigan supporter, may be strongly influenced by the former speaker, Kifowit sees that as “a fallacy.” Because he’s in the spotlight and under the gun to turn things around, “I am hopeful,” she said, “he will be independent and tread his own course.”
The good news is that with a strong movement away from the Chicago-machine-style politics that kept him in power too long, “there will never be another Mike Madigan,” she predicted.
…Adding… Rep. Kifowit just told me that despite what Rep. Willis may have implied…
I did not ask Speaker Welch for a leadership position. I am excited to work with him and his new leadership team for the betterment of Illinois. I know there is a lot of work that we all need to do and I have the utmost confidence in the Speaker and his leadership team during these difficult times.
* Power shifts from city stronghold to west suburbs