Madigan's Handpicked Successor Resigns Less Than Three Days After Appointment

Feb 23, 2021

State Rep. Edward Guerra Kodatt gives his pitch to take over the 22nd District House seat on Sunday after longtime House Speaker Mike Madigan resigned from the General Assembly last week. Madigan chose Kodatt from 10 candidates interested in the appointment at an open forum over the weekend.
Credit Hannah Meisel/NPR Illinois

This story has been updated to reflect Kodatt's resignation effective Wednesday morning.

Former Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan's handpicked successor for the House seat he held for more than 50 years has stepped down from the General Assembly after just three days. 

In a statement Tuesday night, Madigan and Chicago Ald. Marty Quinn (13) said they’ve urged new State Rep. Edward Guerra Kodatt to resign, citing a “zero tolerance policy” and unspecified behavior from Kodatt.

Read more: Ex-Speaker Madigan Chooses 13th Ward Protege To Replace Him After 50 Years In House

“After learning of alleged questionable conduct by Mr. Kodatt, it was suggested that he resign as state representative for the 22nd District,” the statement said. “We are committed to a zero tolerance policy in the workplace.”

On Wednesday morning a spokesman for new House Speaker Chris Welch confirmed receipt of Kodatt's resignation letter.

Madigan resigned last week from the House seat he’s held for more than 50 years, using his power as Chicago’s 13th Ward Committeeman to select his replacement on Sunday after hearing from 10 candidates in an open forum.

On Monday, Madigan also resigned as chairman of the state Democratic Party.

Kodatt, 26, has worked for Quinn for the pst four years since graduating from Eastern Illinois University, and had done work for Madigan’s political organization on Democratic legislative campaigns.

Other committeemen responsible for choosing Madigan’s replacement backed alternative candidates, but Madigan had the majority of the weighted votes on the 22nd District selection committee to make the appointment on his own.

However, Madigan now says he'll back Angelica Guerrero-Cuellar, who works with local nonprofits on health disparities and food insecurity. On Sunday, Ald. Silvana Tabares (23) nominated Guerrero-Cuellar. When asked by Madigan if she'd liked to change her vote to make Kodatt's appointment unanimous, Tabares declined, a first time public split from Madigan.

Madigan, Tabares and other committeemen — State Rep. Aarón Ortiz (D-Chicago), Ald. Derrick Curtis (18) and Stickney Township's Vincent Cainkar — will meet again Thursday morning Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture, where Madigan and Ald. Quinn have shared office space.