22nd District officials will name new successor to Madigan

22nd District officials will name new successor to Madigan
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22nd District officials will name new successor to Madigan

By Ray Hanania

After the surprise decision by Edward Kodatt to withdraw from the appointment to succeed Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan as the representative for the 22nd Illinois House District, Madigan announced that the district’s Democratic Committeemen will reconvene on Thursday, Jan. 25, to select a new nominee.

Reports surfaced immediately after Kodatt was named as Madigan’s successor last Sunday, February @1, 2021, that he had engaged in “inappropriate conduct” while working for Madigan and 13th Ward Alderman Marty Quinn.

The selection committee includes the Democratic Committee persons representing the 22nd Illinois House District which Madigan has represented since 1971 in the Illinois Legislature. They are: Michael J. Madigan (13 Ward); Rep. Aaron Ortiz (14 Ward); Ald. Derrick G. Curtis (18 Ward); Ald. Silvana Tabares (23 Ward); Vince Cainkar (Stickney Township).

Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan addressing the Oct. 21, 2018 candidate's forum hosted by the Arab American Democratic Club in suburban Chicago. Photo courtesy of Ray Hanania

Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan addressing the Oct. 21, 2018 candidate’s forum hosted by the Arab American Democratic Club in suburban Chicago. Photo courtesy of Ray Hanania

Madigan said he will recommend the committee support Angelica Guerrero Cuellar, who was considered the runner-up to Kodatt at last Sunday’s meeting.

“After a fair and robust process on Sunday, we are prepared to proceed with selecting a replacement for the 22nd District Illinois House seat from the pool of candidates who already presented to the selection committee,” Madigan said.

I believe the most equitable way to proceed is to nominate the candidate who received the second-highest vote count. It is my intention to nominate Angelica Guerrero Cuellar.” 

Cuellar was originally nominated by Tabares at last Sunday’s meeting. The daughter of immigrants, Cuellar reportedly works with a nonprofit company in the Chicago neighborhood of West Lawn in the 13th Ward on issues of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The selection committee will meet again at Balzekas Museum ballroom,  at 6500 S. Pulaski Road on the 2nd floor beginning at 10 AM.

Madigan was the longest-serving leader of any state or federal legislative body in the history of the United States, having held the position of Illinois Speaker of the House for all but two years from 1983 to 2021. The district has been represented by Mike Madigan since January 13, 1971. Madigan was the 67th Speaker of the House from 1983 to 1995 and has been the 69th Speaker of the House since 1997. Madigan was re-elected unopposed in 2018.

Madigan was first elected to the Illinois General Assembly in 1971 representing the 27th District from 1971 to 1983, the 30th district from 1983 to 1993, and the 22nd district from 1993 to 2021.

Map of the 22nd Illinois House District

Map of the 22nd Illinois House District

Madigan was elected every two years since 1971 with the backing of a majority of the registered voters in the legislative district, reflecting the voice and will of the district’s residents. Kodatt was chosen over a large field of contenders who sought the position, andpreviousl served as an “infrastructure manager” for the Chicago City Council since 2017.

The 22nd district, located in the Chicagoland area, includes parts of Bedford Park and Burbank and includes all or parts of the Chicago neighborhoods of Archer Heights, Ashburn, Brighton Park, Chicago Lawn, Clearing, Gage Park, Garfield Ridge, West Elsdon, and West Lawn. 

(Ray Hanania is a former Chicago City Hall reporter and award wining columnist and writer. Reach him at his website at www.Hanania.com or email him at rghanania@gmail.com.)

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