AURORA - Republican Mike Strick is calling for all fellow House candidates - both Republican and Democrat - to promise the first vote they make if elected would be for someone other than 45-year Democrat incumbent Mike Madigan to be House Speaker once again.
The pledge, now posted on a newly-released "NoMoreMadigan" website, says:
I, _______________ a candidate for the office of State Representative for the District of _____ Illinois, pledge to the citizens of the ____ District of the state of Illinois that I will, upon my election and being sworn into office to the Illinois House of Representatives, refuse to vote for the incumbent Speaker of the Illinois House, Michael J. Madigan. I am free to vote for any other elected member, Democrat or Republican as I see fit.
“Most people are tired of career politicians," Strick is quoted as saying on the website. "Mike Madigan has been in office for 45 years. I keep trying to tell people that we need some change. Everything that they’re doing…if they haven’t done it by now, it ain’t going to get done.”
The first vote every House member makes after being sworn into office is for who will be House Speaker. With a 1-vote super majority, the Democrats choose Mike Madigan, whose political power grows as he provides campaign funds and staff for his caucus members.
Strick is challenging freshman House Democrat Stephanie Kifowit from Aurora in the November election, and while Democrats like Kifowitz often tell their constituents they're independent from the Speaker's "velvet claw," only those that the Speaker allows to say that do so.
The Strick-Kifowitz race is still rated a Tier 2 by the House Republican Organization, but media coverage and fundraising can hoist the race to the top level, where HRO funds and staff are made available.
Strick's campaign is being covered by the DuPage Policy Journal, one of the campaign news sources affiliated with Dan Proft's Liberty Principles PAC - meaning the Governor is also interested in the race.