Mike Madigan is running for the Illinois General Assembly.
Urbana businessman and city council member Mike Madigan is running for the 52nd state senate district, he announced Monday in Champaign. Madigan is the owner of Hickory River restaurants in Urbana, Peoria, Springfield and Decatur and has served on the city council since May 2013. He's the only Republican in that heavily Democratic body.
While he may have the name in common with longtime Democratic House Speaker Madigan, this Madigan says the similarities pretty much end there.
Madigan is a Republican with experience as a legislative aide for the Illinois Senate and Governor George Ryan in the '90s and early 2000s. He says the legislature and governor made tough choices then, and supports Governor Bruce Rauner's hard line on his pro-business, union-weakening wish list.
"I actually stood on the floor of the Senate the last time the budget was balanced [in 2001]," Madigan said. "So the governor, in the situation that he's in, with supermajorities in both chambers, has to use the leverage that he has to be at the table."
Madigan jokes that his name could be an initial deterrant to voters...
"My parents were thinking about naming me David, I believe, and I kind of wish they would have now," he said.
But mostly, the Republican says he can use his name to draw a distinction between himself and the Democrats who wield so much power in Springfield. Madigan even registered the domain name theothermikemadigan.com for his campaign website.
The seat is currently occupied by Democrat Scott Bennett, who was appointed earlier this year to fill the term left by now-State Treasurer Mike Frerichs. Bennett announced his bid to retain the seat last month.
Candidates running for office in Illinois have three more weeks to collect the signatures needed to get on the November 2016 ballot. Illinois' primary is March 15.
Story source: WILL