House Speaker Madigan runs political ads in new year - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

House Speaker Madigan runs political ads in new year

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WSIL -- Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan buys ad time across the state, months after the midterm election ended.

"It's unprecedented. It's very interesting. And I don't think we've seen anything like it before," John Jackson with SIU's Paul Simon Public Policy Institute.

Jackson said the only times Madigan appears in political ads is as a villain.

"And he's always been completely quiet about it, never responding very much, never taking out any advertisement,' Jackson said. "And all of a sudden, he's decided to come out of that shell of silence and to fight back."

Jackson said the ad attempts to do a couple of things: 

  1. Defend Madigan after years of being a punching bag for Republicans.
  2. To reassure voters who picked a unified, Democratic government.

Jackson said Democrats have had both the governor's seat and the legislature before, but past Democratic governors like Rod Blagojevich and Pat Quinn clashed with Madigan often.

"Here, I think the key difference is Pritzker is going to get along with Madigan, he's going to get along with Cullerton. And Madigan and Cullerton want to get along with Pritzker," Jackson said.

Jackson says the ad also serves as run-up to the 2020 election, hoping to capitalize on the low approval ratings of President Donald Trump among voters in the state.

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