January 14, 2021 •
Illinois Elects New Speaker at the Start of the 2021 Session
The Illinois House elected Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch as speaker of the House.
This took place shortly after the swearing-in of newly elected General Assembly members, to start the 2021 regular session.
Welch succeeds Rep. Michael Madigan, the longest-serving statehouse speaker in U.S. history, and becomes the first Black person to hold the position.
Three women who were running for the position withdrew before the vote after Welch entered the race following an announcement by Madigan he was suspending his own campaign.
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