House Speaker Michael Madigan ‘suspends’ campaign for retention

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan is “suspending” his campaign for retention of the post

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — (AP) — Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan on Monday said he was “suspending” his campaign for a 19th term in the leadership post.

Madigan, the longest-serving leader of a legislative body in U.S. history, issued a statement that began, “This is not a withdrawal.”

But it urged House Democrats to “work to find someone, other than me, to get 60 votes for speaker.”

Madigan has led the House almost continuously since 1983. He has been dogged recently by a Justice Department investigation into a bribery scheme involving utility ComEd.

The 78-year-old Chicago Democrat has not been charged with a crime and has denied wrongdoing. But in a caucus vote Sunday, his support fell short of the 60 votes needed for his retention.

The campaign is for a House leader for the 102nd General Assembly, which will be inaugurated on Wednesday.