Former Rep. Andersson, a Republican, had close ties to Speaker Madigan
State Rep. Dan Ugaste (R-Geneva) says he can see why some are so shocked at how close his predecessor, Steve Andersson—also a Republican from Geneva—and longtime House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) seemed to have become.
“To help Illinois out of this bad situation, I hope to have a great working relationship with the speaker, where he hears my point of view and I hear his,” Ugaste told the Kane County Reporter. “But yeah, I’ve heard the rumors about their relationship, and I know what the speaker recently had to say about him and how a lot of people were a bit stunned by it.”
As the House recently wrapped its two-year session, Andersson was one of the few lawmakers Madigan signaled out for the most praise.
But then, even as he placed himself in the crosshairs of many Republicans, Andersson seemed to endear himself to Madigan as far back as the middle of 2017, when he crossed party lines to vote in favor of overriding Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of the 32 percent income tax hike that now rates as the largest in state history.
Since around that time, Madigan made no secret of his affinity for Andersson. Roughly two months before the final vote on the tax hike was taken, Madigan granted Andersson the almost unheard of privilege of bringing his wife to the Speaker’s Gallery for a scene in which he told the story of how they met and professed his undying love for her.
By comparison, when former state Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) sought to reserve a couple of seats in the Gallery in order to fete Bob Adams, a war veteran and founder of The Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans, her request was denied.
Meanwhile, Ugaste, who won the 65th District with 52 percent of the vote in November, assures his voters his only concern is making sure their issues are addressed.
“I’m looking forward to doing my best to help get the state back on track and will work with whoever I have to in order to do that for the people of Illinois,” he added.
The 65th House District includes Batavia, Burlington, Dundee, Elgin, Geneva, Grafton, Hampshire, Plato, Rutland and St. Charles.