Pritzker joins Durbin in saying Madigan must give up Democratic Party leadership

  • Speaker of the House Michael Madigan shakes hands with Gov. J.B. Pritzker at the conclusion of Pritzker's State of the State address at the Illinois Capitol on Jan. 29 in Springfield.

    Speaker of the House Michael Madigan shakes hands with Gov. J.B. Pritzker at the conclusion of Pritzker's State of the State address at the Illinois Capitol on Jan. 29 in Springfield. Ted Schurter/The State Journal-Register via AP

  • Gov. J.B. Pritzker pauses momentarily before continuing to speak in July in Waukegan about ComEd pleading guilty to bribery in a public corruption case involving House Speaker Michael Madigan.

      Gov. J.B. Pritzker pauses momentarily before continuing to speak in July in Waukegan about ComEd pleading guilty to bribery in a public corruption case involving House Speaker Michael Madigan. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Michael Madigan

    Michael Madigan

  • Sen. Dick Durbin speaks before the Senate Judiciary Committee during the hearing on Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett in October.

    Sen. Dick Durbin speaks before the Senate Judiciary Committee during the hearing on Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett in October. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 11/5/2020 5:43 PM

Gov. J.B. Pritzker called for new leadership at the state's Democratic Party on Thursday, conceding that Republicans successfully used a politically damaged Speaker Michael Madigan in this week's election to "hurt our ability to get things done."

The governor said he agreed with Sen. Dick Durbin's comments a day earlier that Democrats "paid a heavy price" for the Southwest Side Democrat's position at the top of the state's party.

 

Asked to clarify if he agreed with Durbin that the party needed new leadership, the governor gave a terse, but emphatic, response.

"Yes," he said.

"The Republicans and the billionaires that sided with them were effectively able to use the speaker as their foil, and that hurt our ability, our state's ability, to get things done," Pritzker said moments earlier in response to a reporter's question at the daily COVID-19 briefing.

Madigan defiantly responded a few hours later, saying he's not going anywhere and looks "forward to continuing our fight for working families as chairman of the Democratic Party of Illinois."

• For more on this story, check chicago.suntimes.com.

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