Lisa Madigan's decision to not run for governor could shake up Republican leadership

Jul 22, 2013

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan's decision to run for re-election will have its biggest effect on the democratic primary for governor. But as IPR'S Brian Mackey reports, it could also lead to a change in leadership among Republicans in the Illinois House.

State Rep. Tom Cross, a Republican from Oswego who's been House Minority Leader since 2002, says "many" people approached him to consider running for AG when it was thought Madigan was likely to run for governor.

That, in turn, prompted more than a few lawmakers to begin measuring for drapes in the minority leader's office. At least seven Republicans expressed interest in succeeding him, though several have taken themselves out of the running.

Now that Madigan is seeking re-election, Cross says he "remains committed to the House Republican Caucus." But can the leadership-change genie be put back in the bottle? Rep. Ron Sandack, a freshman from Downers Grove, says he has yet to make up his mind.

"As a caucus, we need to meet and talk through what's happened, why it happened, where we're going, and how we're going to start achieving some different outcomes."

The outcomes of last year's elections were disastrous for Illinois Republicans. Democrats won supermajorities in both the House and Senate.