© 2024 NPR Illinois
The Capital's Community & News Service
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Senators Meeting Sunday To Elect New President

Senate President John Cullerton and Senators Kim Lightford and Don Harmon
Brian Mackey
NPR Illinois

Members of the Illinois Senate will gather in the Capitol Sunday to choose a new president.

This is arguably the most important election in Illinois this year, at least in terms of state government and politics.

The Senate president has great power over whether legislation is considered — or killed.

Because Democrats have a supermajority — 40 members to 19 Republicans — the real voting will take place in a secret, closed-door meeting of the Democratic caucus scheduled for 11 a.m.

Once — or if — a senator secures 30 votes, the entire Senate will convene to elect the new president.

So far the top contenders are state Sens. Kimberly Lightford of Maywood and Don Harmon of Oak Park, though in the end someone else could get the nod.

Current Senate President John Cullerton is retiring after more than a decade in the role.

Because of how rare these sorts of openings are in Illinois, the competition is expected to be fierce.

Brian Mackey formerly reported on state government and politics for NPR Illinois and a dozen other public radio stations across the state. Before that, he was A&E editor at The State Journal-Register and Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
Related Stories