Speaker Welch Assembles Leadership Team

1/21/2021 Joe McCoy

Newly-elected Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives Emanuel "Chris" Welch issued a statement announcing his leadership team. The statement is below:

“As we begin a new day in the House, I’m committed to assembling a Democratic leadership team that values those things that have made our caucus so successful while also pursuing needed changes to strengthen our caucus, our House and our state. Throughout their careers, Reps. Gordon-Booth, Gabel, Andrade and Hoffman have all brought leadership, integrity and unique perspectives to our chamber. They have spoke passionately for their communities and also extended their hands to their colleagues in compromise. I look forward to working closely with them, and with all members of this chamber, to meet the challenges and seize the opportunities of this moment.” 

The following can be attributed to state Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth, D-Peoria, who will serve as deputy majority leader and speaker pro-tempore:

“As Speaker Welch begins a historic speakership, I’m proud to be a part of a leadership team that recognizes that the diversity of our caucus is our strength. Last week, Democrats stood together to move forward on landmark legislation advancing justice for all – something that required each of us to think beyond our own experience and listen to one another. While there is a lot of work ahead, we will continue to work together in this way to build a stronger Illinois.” 

The following can be attributed to state Rep. Robyn Gabel, D-Evanston, who will serve as assistant majority leader:

“Speaker Welch has called on every member of this House to work together to meet the challenges of this moment. We come to the table prepared to advocate for the critical services families and small businesses need to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, smart budget solutions that invest in our future, the health of our families, our environmental resources, strong schools and a strong economy.” 

The following can be attributed to state Rep. Jaime M. Andrade, Jr., D-Chicago, who will serve as assistant majority leader:

“This leadership team reflects the diversity and geography of our state, and we share a commitment to doing what is right for every part of Illinois. The challenges ahead of us are clear, but Speaker Welch has made it clear this is no time to hide from these challenges – it’s time to confront them head on and work together to strengthen our state.” 

The following can be attributed to state Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Swansea, who will serve as assistant majority leader:

“The work ahead of our state is so critical. We are tasked with bringing Illinois through an unprecedented pandemic, repairing the budgetary damage that crisis has created, and building a stronger, more just state. Democrats stand united with Speaker Welch in this effort. We’re enthused by this new moment and remain committed to continuing our work for a stronger middle class, an economy that works for everyone, and a better Illinois for all.”

Welch’s full leadership team will consist of:

State Rep. Greg Harris - Majority Leader
State Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth - Deputy Majority Leader / Speaker Pro-Tempore
State Rep. Mary E. Flowers - Deputy Majority Leader and Dean of the Caucus
State Rep. Jaime M. Andrade, Jr. - Assistant Majority Leader
State Rep. Robyn Gabel - Assistant Majority Leader
State Rep. Elizabeth Hernandez - Assistant Majority Leader
State Rep. Jay Hoffman - Assistant Majority Leader
State Rep. Natalie Manley - Assistant Majority Leader
State Rep. Marcus C. Evans, Jr. - Assistant Majority Leader
State Rep. Delia Ramirez - Assistant Majority Leader
State Rep. Carol Ammons - Democratic Conference Chair

In addition to these leadership posts, Welch has tapped leaders within each caucus of the House Democratic delegation to serve as a caucus whips. These members will be empowered to rally the various caucuses around legislation and issues of importance to the entire Democratic Caucus. This team will be:

State Rep. Will Guzzardi - Progressive Caucus Whip
State Rep. Kam Buckner - Black Caucus Whip
State Rep. Theresa Mah - Asian Caucus Whip
State Rep. Larry Walsh, Jr. - Downstate Caucus Whip
State Rep. Deb Conroy - Women’s Caucus Whip
State Rep. Aaron Ortiz - Latinx Caucus Whip 

Welch and his full leadership team are preparing new changes to the House rules, based on input from both sides of the aisle.



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