Skillicorn calls Madigan-backed bid to strike Drury from ballot 'shameful'
The gloves are clearly off in the Democratic primary for Illinois attorney general, where House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) was behind a push to strike Rep. Scott Drury (D-Highwood), the only Democrat representative who didn't favor his 17th term as speaker more than a year ago, from that ballot, Rep. Allen Skillicorn (R-East Dundee) said during a recent interview.
It's a shame that Madigan has so openly moved against the bid of Drury to become the next state attorney general, Skillicorn told the Kane County Reporter. "It's shameful that a political party leader would attack someone who wants to see reform, no matter which party," Skillicorn said. "It’s also troubling that Mike Madigan's election attorney, Michael Kasper, is the person trying to knock Drury off the ballot."
Skillicorn has represented the 66th State House District since he first was elected to the seat in 2016 and he is running for re-election this year. The 66th State House District is within Kane and McHenry counties.
Drury has represented the 58th State House District since he was elected to the seat in 2012. The 58th State House District is within Lake and Cook counties.
Drury is still on the ballot in the March 20 Democratic primary ballot despite a Cook County Circuit Court judge's decision in early February to strike him from ballot, a ruling Drury appealed.
Things have been tough for Drury since January 2017 when he failed to dutifully vote with all Democratic representatives who gave Madigan another term as House speaker. "Drury was the only Democrat to vote ‘present’ for speaker in the election," Skillicorn recalled. "The 51 Republicans all voted for a new speaker."
At the time, Drury said he was under no illusions about the repercussions of his vote. "I am confident that my vote represents the view of the vast majority of my constituents. In that respect, the decision was easy," Drury said in a statement he issued the same day as his vote. "Unfortunately, I have learned that what is popular with constituents does not always align with what is popular in Springfield. In the end, I chose the public over politicians."
Madigan is now in his fourth decade as House speaker.
Meanwhile, Drury, who briefly considered challenging Madigan for the powerful House position, about this time last year was seeking the Democrat Party's nod to run for governor and he was still trying well into the summer but that bid failed.
In September, a Cook County Circuit judge dismissed his defamation and invasion of privacy lawsuit against conservative talk radio host and political activist Dan Proft, who ran against Drury in 2014. Proft is a principal of Local Government Information Services, which owns this publication.
By autumn, it was clear that Drury would not be returning to his 58th House District, where he was being challenged by fellow Democrat and Deerfield attorney Bob Morgan.
Things started to look up for Drury in January when the state's election board voted 5-3 to allow him to be on the Democratic ballot for attorney general, despite challenges Drury said he faced from "entrenched politicians and special interests" and the "Democratic Party establishment" working against him. Drury has called out Madigan for trying to end Drury's political aspirations.
Drury also has gone on the offensive. Last month, Drury, along with Republican gubernatorial hopeful Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton), called for Madigan to step down as speaker for his part in the controversy over sexual harassment in the general sssembly, with Drury referring to Madigan as "the elephant in the room."
"The fact is we can no longer say 'that is just Uncle Mike; that’s how he is,'" Drury said, adding "We need to wake up people and it is time to call on Speaker Madigan to step down as the speaker of the House because he is not worthy of that position."