SPRINGFIELD -- State Sen. Michael Noland of Elgin cast the lone vote Tuesday against re-electing Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan to his fifth term as state Democratic Party chairman.
But Noland wouldn't give a reason for his dissent and backed it up with praise for Madigan, who apparently was not taken by surprise by the vote.
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The gallery at the Statehouse Inn, just a few steps away from the Illinois Capitol, hushed as Noland stood up to vote during the meeting of the party's state central committee.
"I'll just simply say now is the time," Noland said. "Most of what it is, is really between the speaker and myself at this point. It's not personal. It has to do largely with policy and the betterment of the party."
Later, Noland would not go into detail, saying he intended to "honor my commitment to the speaker and not elaborate" on the topic.
Madigan said he's open to opposition if it advances the progress of the party.
"Whenever I've had opposition in the legislature or the state Democratic Party, we've usually made converse of those problems because we want to work with the people and we want to move in the right direction," Madigan said.
Noland emphasized his no vote was not personal but was about an issue that's been bothering him long-term. He said he met with Madigan a few days before the party meeting to discuss his concerns, but the two could not reconcile their differences.
"I think the speaker is a gentleman, and he's a true leader, and I think he'll show some leadership in the light of this," Noland said.
Noland also made clear he is not seeking the party chair for himself.
"There are many people far more capable of being chair than I," he said.
Despite Noland's no vote, the rest of the members of the party in attendance voted Madigan into the chair for a fifth term as Illinois' leader of the Democratic Party. Party members did not nominate another member to oppose Madigan.