U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly, who represents portions of eastern Will County, announced this week she will run to be the next chair of the Democratic Party of Illinois.
Her announcement came after Michael Madigan, the former speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives, resigned as the head of the party, a post he had held since 1998.
With Madigan’s time leading Illinois Democrats coming to an end, Kelly, D-Matteson, launched her bid to replace him with a statement.
“With democracy under siege, it’s more important than ever that we have leaders in our party that can appeal to the broad sector of our electorate that represent all 102 counties in our state,” Kelly said. “The Congressional district I represent is urban, suburban and rural which is a microcosm of the State and gives me a unique perspective and understanding to lead our party forward.”
Kelly represents the 2nd Congressional District which stretches from the south side of Chicago to south of Bourbonnais. It includes parts of Beecher, Crete, Monee, Peotone and University Park.
The congresswoman already has big names backing her bid to be the next party chair. U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, endorsed her for the position saying in a statement he “cannot think of a better person to lead the Democrats moving forward.”
Chicago Alderwoman Michelle Harris also said she would vie for the position.
The 36 members of the Democratic State Central Committee will meet within the next 30 days to select a new chair, according to a news release.