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Dems to vote Wednesday night on new state chair

Monday, Mar 1, 2021

* Background is here if you need it. Pearson

The contest for Illinois Democratic Party chairman is down to two candidates after state Sen. Cristina Castro dropped her bid Sunday and her supporters sided with U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly over Ald. Michelle Harris. […]

Despite Sunday’s shift, Harris still holds the early lead over Kelly in securing the votes needed to replace Madigan, who resigned the post last week.

With Gov. J.B. Pritzker in her corner, the veteran 8th Ward alderman so far has public support from party leaders who represent about 44% of the weighted vote, while Kelly of Matteson has nearly 19%, including the 5% Castro had collected.

It’s not just a race between these two candidates. It’s also a race to 50 percent plus one weighted vote…


* The Kelly folks were demanding a vote this coming Saturday, but the acting DPI chair, a Harris supporter, is calling a meeting instead for this Wednesday night. Just saying, but you usually call the vote when you have the votes rounded up

The Sun-Times has learned the vote will be held during a virtual meeting of the state central committee members at 6 p.m. Chicago time on Wednesday.

According to a notice sent to members on Sunday night by party executive director Mary Morrissey, “the meeting will also be livestreamed so that Democrats across the state can be present for the meeting.”

* Not a bad question…


Kelly, you will recall, demanded a probe last week of some transfers Madigan did with the party’s federal money before his resignation took effect.

…Adding… Back when Mike Madigan and Gary LaPaille took the state party away from Vince Demuzio, Vince sent out a lot of press releases announcing endorsements of his candidacy by people who didn’t have a vote on the state central committee. Kelly has been doing much the same thing the past week

Today, Congressman Sean Casten, Congressman Mike Quigley, Congressman Brad Schneider, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky and Congressman Bill Foster announced their endorsement of Congresswoman Robin Kelly for Chair of the Illinois Democratic Party.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

5 Comments
  1. - Precinct Captain - Monday, Mar 1, 21 @ 8:50 am:

    ==It’s not just a race between these two candidates. It’s also a race to 50 percent plus one weighted vote…==

    Someone should tell the WMAQ political reporter that, although that person is still wrong based on the one-on-one aspect too.


  2. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Mar 1, 21 @ 9:15 am:

    To the post,

    We are way beyond the “look at the support I got” in this.

    We are at the point of measuring “look at the weighted vote I secured”

    That’s what matters. That’s all that only mattered.

    The proxy battle is about who is supporting the governor or Durbin. The rest is a distraction of that bottom line.


  3. - Helm - Monday, Mar 1, 21 @ 9:21 am:

    Cabonargi used to work for Durbin so you figure he’s with Kelly. Not sure about Ronen.

    Who else is uncommitted ?


  4. - Candy Dogood - Monday, Mar 1, 21 @ 9:22 am:

    I was drafting a comment comparing Mike Madigan to L. Ron Hubbard, and then I thought better of it. I have some criticism of Mike Madigan, but he didn’t literally create a cult and it’s hard to fault a person who managed to smoothy follow the Overton window in a leadership position, and maybe even gave that Overton window a few shoves when it was ready for it.

    Madigan has impacted the state politics for decades. Even someone who disagrees with him, or someone who believed it was his time to go, would probably still take a call from him and here what he had to say about an issue or a bill.

    The individuals actually voting for this leadership position would still hear him out for what he has to say and there would be no way to keep his support private from them and I think we all recognize that no matter who the next chairperson is, Mike Madigan is going to say nice things about them and congratulate them.

    One releases news of Madigan’s support because they have to and because this isn’t a real election. It’s a committee meeting where for some weird reason members of the committee that are voting among themselves to see who the next chair of that committee is are making public endorsements.

    That’s the weird part, that they’re making public endorsements.

    A sincere question anyone should ask themselves, though, is if they were seeking a position within the Democratic Party apparatus, would they want Mike Madigan’s support? Some would say yes, but definitively I think few would welcome his opposition.


  5. - Ferris Wheeler - Monday, Mar 1, 21 @ 12:11 pm:

    === The proxy battle is about who is supporting the governor or Durbin. The rest is a distraction of that bottom line. ===

    Spot on.

    There are some deeper issues at work, too. Cabonargi and Ronen probably would not be with Durbin without Schakowsky’s blessing, and It’s hard to believe SEIU isn’t either urging Jan or backing this move.

    The goal here seems to either take over the party or split it and tarnish the new leadership as “more of the same.”

    It was not a bad move except that there are legit concerns about Kelly’s ability to perform the job when she spends six months a year in DC. Instead of being tied to Madigan, Democrats would be tied to Kelly’s DC voting record, for better or sometimes for worse. And Kelly’s much vaunted Downstate roots? She lost Peoria County - badly - when she ran statewide, despite calling it home for 20 years.

    Rich is right, it seems they are calling for a vote because they have the votes, but I think part of the goal is to stanch the public bloodletting as quick as possible, to preserve the party.

    I get that The Wunderkids backing Kelly want to get control of the party apparatus as quick as possible. I doubt there will be disagreements with the Pritzker folks about Twitter, TikTok, and all the other stuff they believe wins modern campaigns. I hope they manage to get it all sorted privately before Wednesday. But, the folks coming out of the Sanders movement have their own ideas about what is best, sometimes they just are not interested in peaceful resolution.


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