State Rep.-Elect Suzanne Ness undecided on whether to support Madigan for speaker role

Democrat Suzanne Ness, who recently won her bid against incumbent state Rep. Allen Skillicorn to represent District 66 in Springfield, said Thursday she remains undecided on whether she will vote for state Rep. Michael Madigan to continue in the Speaker of the House role he has held for decades.

Her undecided position on the speaker came as more statehouse Democrats reportedly dropped their support of Madigan getting another term in the leadership position after indictments of his close associate and others in a ComEd utility bribery scheme were made public Wednesday.

"I have time to think about it, and so I’m giving myself the benefit of time," Ness told the Northwest Herald. "Future indictments, if something comes out specifically against the Speaker, that might influence me."

Ness' statehouse campaign received more than $600,000 in transfers from political organizations, including some controlled by Madigan, who is also the head of the Illinois Democratic Party, according to Ness and the most recent quarterly campaign finance report to the state.

Skillicorn had criticized those financial contributions during the campaign and had also publicly called for Madigan's resignation.

Ness was the sole Democrat to notch a victory in any of the five statehouse races for districts that include parts of McHenry County. District 66 runs from Crystal Lake and Lakewood in the north through Lake in the Hills, Huntley and Algonquin into Kane County, where it also includes Gilberts, Sleepy Hollow and West Dundee.

"If not Speaker Madigan, then who? At least we know who he is," Ness said. "... I haven’t made up my mind."

Sam Lounsberry

Sam Lounsberry covers local government, business, K-12 education and all other aspects of life in McHenry County, in particular in the communities of Woodstock, McHenry, Richmond, Spring Grove, Wonder Lake and Johnsburg.