"State Rep. Sue Scherer, D-Decatur, will not vote for Mike Madigan as House Speaker tomorrow," the news release read.
Scherer, who has served in the House since 2013, is repeatedly linked to Madigan by those challenging her for the seat, which includes Macon, Sangamon and Christian counties. Scherer has repeatedly refuted those allegations.
The House speaker is chosen by members of the Illinois House of Representatives every two years. There will be 73 Democrats and 45 Republicans seated for the vote for a new speaker, and 60 votes are needed to gain the speakership.
Normally, votes for leadership are decided before they get to the House floor. And Madigan has, until now, had the votes locked up for his speakership in every election since 1983, except for a two-year period in the 1990s when Republicans took control of the chamber.
Madigan, D-Chicago, has been implicated but not charged in a bribery scheme allegedly orchestrated by utility giant Commonwealth Edison to influence and award his allies. He denies any wrongdoing and refuses to step aside.
A speaker can be elected with either Republican or Democratic votes, but historically the majority party has unified behind a candidate.
Among those in contention for the position, along with Madigan, are Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Hillside, Rep. Ann Williams, D-Chicago, and Stephanie Kifowit, D-Oswego.
At this point, no candidate appears to have the 60 votes needed to gain the gavel for the 102nd General Assembly, while further closed-door balloting was expected to continue Tuesday.
State Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch is poised to become Illinois’ first Black speaker of the House Wednesday, as Democrats prepared to end Michael Madigan's decadeslong reign as the undisputed power in Illinois politics.