* From DPI…
Michael J. Madigan today announced he will resign as the Chairman of the Democratic Party of Illinois (DPI), and Vice Chair Karen Yarbrough will be appointed as interim chair of the party until a new chair is named.
First elected in 1998, under Madigan’s leadership, Democrats have held steady as the ‘blue wall’ in the Midwest, held supermajorities in the legislature, passed landmark legislation that has made Illinois a leader in progressive policy, and significantly increased the numbers of women, people of color and members of the LGBTQ community serving in state elected office.
“Over the last two decades, we have elected a diverse array of Democrats across Illinois and helped send a hometown Chicago leader to the White House, turning Illinois into a Democratic stronghold in the Midwest,” Madigan said. “Together, we faced conservative extremism and stood up for working men and women. I’m confident the Democratic Party of Illinois will continue to cement our place as a beacon of progressive values. My work would not have been possible without the support of my family, Shirley, Lisa, Tiffany, Nicole and Andrew. I thank each of them for their unwavering love and support that has allowed me to do this work for so long.”
Karen Yarbrough will move into her new role as interim chair after most recently serving as vice chair of DPI.
“One thing everyone knows about Illinois is that it’s a reliably blue state in the Midwest and throughout the country, and that’s in large part because of the leadership of Mike Madigan,” Yarbrough said. “Democrats across Illinois owe Chairman Madigan a huge debt of gratitude for the support, resources and time he’s dedicated to candidates and races at every level. While our party enters a transition and looks to the future, I hope we don’t lose sight of the extraordinary contributions he has made. I thank him for his leadership and wish him the best in his next chapter.”
Madigan’s resignation as chairman is effective immediately. Madigan’s current four-year term as state central committeeman ends following the March primary in 2022. Pursuant to the Illinois Election Code, the 36 members of the Democratic State Central Committee will meet within 30 days to select a new chair to serve for the remainder of the term.
* Speaker Welch…
“I thank Michael Madigan for his 20+ years of service as the chairman of the Democratic Party of Illinois, which has left us with a supermajority in both chambers of the General Assembly. I have full confidence in the state central committee’s ability to select a new chair. The Illinois Democratic party remains strong, and we will continue our work to create a more equitable state.”
…Adding… From Madigan to party members…
I am writing you today to inform you that I am stepping down as the Chairman of the Democratic Party of Illinois. Vice Chair Karen Yarbrough will serve as interim chair until the Democratic State Central Committee meets to choose a new chair.
I want to use this opportunity to express how honored I have been to lead Illinois Democrats through both challenging and rewarding times. Over the last two decades, we’ve increased the number of women, people of color and members of the LGBTQ community serving in elected office in Illinois and helped send a hometown Chicago leader to the White House. We’ve faced conservative extremism and always stood up for the hardworking women and men of Illinois. Together we’ve held steady as the ‘blue wall’ in the Midwest, held supermajorities in the legislature and passed landmark legislation that has made Illinois a leader in progressive policy.
On a personal note, I’ve enjoyed working alongside all of you. Your commitment to Democratic ideals and progressive values has helped make our tent even bigger and put Illinois at the forefront on the most critical issues facing our country.
I’m confident the Democratic Party of Illinois will continue to cement our place as a beacon of progressive values and defender of hardworking men and women.
Of course none of this work would have been possible without the support and sacrifice of my family, Shirley, Lisa, Tiffany, Nicole and Andrew. I thank each of them for their unwavering love and support that has allowed me to do this work for so long.
With kindest personal regards, I remain
*** UPDATE *** Notice, US Sen. Durbin is not on this list…
U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth, Illinois Governor today announced their support for Alderman Michelle Harris to be the next Chair of the Democratic Party of Illinois:
“As our nation moves on from the chaos of the Trump years and our state begins charting a brighter path forward under new legislative leadership, the next leader of the Democratic Party of Illinois must continue the progress we’ve made by supporting Democratic candidates who will help working families at the local, state and federal levels equally. We believe Alderman Michelle Harris is best qualified to lead our party forward in the years ahead and are hopeful the State Central Committee will select her to serve as the next Party Chair.”
Durbin has wanted to control the state party for a very long time. Stay tuned, but I doubt he can win this one.
…Adding… I was asked to remove the reference to Lightfoot from the release. Apparently, the statement hadn’t been approved yet by her.
*** UPDATE 2 *** Press release…
Rep. Robin Kelly (IL-2) Announces run for Chair of the Democratic Party of Illinois
“Today I am announcing my intention to run for Chair of the Democratic Party of Illinois. With democracy under siege, it’s more important than ever that we have leaders of our party that can appeal to the broad sector of our electorate that represent all 102 counties of our state. The Congressional district I represent is urban, suburban and rural which is a microcosm of the State and gives me a unique perspective and understanding to lead our party forward. I’ve been a strong leader in the party, I have the voice to move Illinois forward. As Chair, I will bring a fresh approach that includes my collaborative and inclusive work ethic. In the coming days, I look forward to sharing my vision about the future of the Democratic Party of Illinois with the members of the State Central Committee. I want to thank Mike Madigan for his service to the Democratic Party.”
*** UPDATE 3 *** Sen. Durbin…
“Democrats in Illinois are in our strongest position ever. We cannot rest on our laurels, and we must take this opportunity to look honestly at where we are now, as well as look to the future and lead by example. That is why I am supporting my friend, Congresswoman Robin Kelly, to be the next Chair of the Democratic Party of Illinois.
“Robin spent twenty years in Peoria. She’s traveled to every corner of Illinois as a statewide candidate. And she represents a district that’s urban, suburban, and rural. Her experience in Congress, the state legislature, and managing an Illinois constitutional office afford her a breadth of important experience and skill sets. I cannot think of a better person to lead Democrats moving forward in Illinois.
“Alderwoman Michelle Harris is a friend, and she’s a proven leader — clearly evidenced by the trust the Mayor of Chicago has placed in her as City Council floor leader. I want to thank her for her candidacy, and know that whoever is Chair, our party will be in good hands.”
*** UPDATE 4 *** A member of the State Central Committee…