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You may get a chance to meet these three new House Speakers next year

Tuesday, Nov 22, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Michigan

History will be made in Lansing after Democratic State Rep. Joe Tate was selected as the first Black speaker of the house. […]

FOX 2: “I was just going to ask you, when you hear: Joe Tate - first Black Speaker of the Michigan House. What kind of title does that mean to you?”

Tate: Standing on the shoulders of others. For me, having the opportunity, again being historic. But understanding it’s a responsibility not only to the residents of Michigan but also the men and women who have come before me, and those that look like me. Knowing that this is something that a lot of people have worked for as a team effort. No, I am not an island in getting this done.”

Tate played in the NFL and then signed up for the Marine Corps.

* Pennsylvania

Democrats have flipped the Pennsylvania state House of Representatives, unexpectedly gaining control of the legislative chamber for the first time in a decade. […]

“One thing we’ve seen after decades of gerrymandered maps, that it turns out, 50% of Pennsylvania voters vote Democrat,” state Rep. Joanna McClinton (D), who will likely become the first Black woman to serve as speaker of the Pennsylvania House, said the day after the election, according to local TV station WHYY. “It’s an amazing thing. It’s an amazing thing what a fair opportunity and fair maps and a fair district will provide.”

* Maine

A Portland representative made history on Thursday when she was became the first Black lawmaker ever nominated to preside over the Maine House.

Rep. Rachel Talbot Ross defeated a fellow lawmaker from Portland, Ed Crockett, to secure the House Speaker nomination from her fellow Democrats for the upcoming legislative session. A longtime campaigner on civil rights, social justice and criminal justice reform issues, Talbot Ross was first elected to the Legislature six years ago and made history two years ago by becoming the first Black lawmaker elected to a leadership position within her caucus. The 62-year-old formerly headed the NAACP in Maine as well as Portland’s equal opportunity and multicultural affairs program. […]

Talbot Ross’s ascension to House Speaker comes 50 years after her father, Gerald Talbot, made history to become the first Black person ever elected to the Maine Legislature. It was a history that obviously weighed heavily on the Speaker-elect as she recalled first visiting the House chamber with her father decades ago and seeing the lack of diversity among lawmakers. She is also only the fourth woman to preside over the Maine House, which is the third-highest elected office in Maine after the governor and Senate President.

“Only” the fourth woman to preside over the Maine House? We’ve yet to see that happen here, and we’ve been a state longer than Maine has.

* Anyway, I reached out to House Speaker Chris Welch’s office when I saw the news about Rep. Tate in Michigan. I was told that Welch, Illinois’ first Black House Speaker, sent congratulatory messages to all three legislators and plans to follow up with an invite to visit Springfield and speak to the House next year.

Not exactly big “news,” I know, but, hey, it’s a holiday week.

Discuss.

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12 Comments »
  1. - Norseman - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 2:49 pm:

    Welch has some experience now and can share his wisdom to the newbies.

    Have Hakeem Jefferies come as the keynote speaker.


  2. - Scurvydog - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 3:03 pm:

    ==We’ve yet to see that happen here, and we’ve been a state longer than Maine has.

    Well, in fairness, I’m 51 years old and Chris Welch is only the 2nd speaker we’ve had in my lifetime.


  3. - Scurvydog - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 3:04 pm:

    Snark implied in my last post…sort of.


  4. - Mr. Middle Ground - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 3:33 pm:

    —It’s an amazing thing what a fair opportunity and fair maps and a fair district will provide.—

    Sadly, not the same here in Illinois.


  5. - cover - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 3:59 pm:

    = Sadly, not the same here in Illinois. =

    Illinois Democrats certainly benefitted from their gerrymandered map, but a “fair” map would have yielded around 65 Democratic House members (~55% of 118), and you would still have Speaker Welch - albeit without a supermajority.


  6. - Baloneymous - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 4:01 pm:

    ===Well, in fairness, I’m 51 years old and Chris Welch is only the 2nd speaker we’ve had in my lifetime.===

    Do you just mean Democratic speakers? Because you missed Lee Daniels, George Ryan, 2-3 others since you were born in 1970 or 1971.


  7. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 4:02 pm:

    ===but a “fair” map would have yielded around 65 Democratic House members===

    And you can say that… how?


  8. - Baloneymous - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 4:02 pm:

    Nevermind, I missed your 2nd post.


  9. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 4:05 pm:

    ===Sadly, not the same here in Illinois.===

    This is utterly pathetic when you think of the extreme candidates that lost, the ceding of “majority-minority” districts that Republicans don’t field competitive candidates, or someone like Wheeler who looks good on paper to win again but issues of the day negate such victories.

    The GOP aren’t victims.

    Madigan won 4 of 5 cycles with a GOP leaning map.

    “How?”

    Candidate recruitment and understanding districts.

    The map is a crutch when a party refuses to make itself competitive.


  10. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 4:07 pm:

    ===but a “fair” map===

    So a judicially sanctioned map passing the VRA isn’t “fair”?


  11. - Socially DIstant watcher - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 4:15 pm:

    @OW: forget it, Jake. It’s Victimtown.


  12. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 4:20 pm:

    - Socially DIstant watcher -

    I’ll take my sliced nose out of here

    :)


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