A newly inaugurated Illinois Senate has chosen John Cullerton president for another two-year term. The 64-year-old Democrat from Chicago began his third term at the helm as the 98th General Assembly was sworn in. The November election delivered to Cullerton a 40-19 majority over Republicans. That's the most Democrats elected in the Illinois Senate in at least 120 years. Cullerton's caucus members come not only from the Democratic stronghold of Chicago but from the far reaches of the state with varying philosophical ideas. A lawyer and public defender, Cullerton has served in the Senate since 1991 after serving 12 years in the House. Republican Sen. Christine Radogno was chosen as minority leader.
Michael Madigan has been easily re-elected to another term as speaker of the Illinois House. The newest Illinois House has been sworn into office. Madigan is a Chicago Democrat who has held the position of House speaker almost continuously since 1983. The exception was a two-year period in the 1990s when Republicans had control of the House. Madigan is arguably the most powerful Democrat in Illinois. He also serves as chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party. He is also a senior partner at a law firm in Chicago. One of his daughters is Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who was at Wednesday's ceremony. Republican Tom Cross was re-elected minority leader.
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