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HomeIllinois NewsMadigan to face primary challenger Jason Gonzales next March

Madigan to face primary challenger Jason Gonzales next March




CHICAGO – House Speaker Mike Madigan will face at least one challenger on the 2016 Democrat primary ballot March 15th that wasn't put up by the Speaker's minions, says Jason Gonzales of Chicago.

Gonzales, 41, whose resume includes post-graduate degrees from Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, isn't hesitant to criticize the powerful head of the state's Democrat Party.

"I’m taking on an ambitious and desperately needed project: I'm running against Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan, a 45-year incumbent who has been the longest serving House Speaker in US history and bears much of the blame for our state's dire financial condition and Illinois’ $113 billion pension crisis," Gonzales wrote in an mass email last Friday.

Gonzales, who is opposed to right-to-work and was at one time a member of SEIU, says the time to challenge the speaker is right.

"There has never been a better time to run against him. Right now, Madigan's approval rating is just 19%."  

Gonzales says he sees in the 22nd District a real need for property tax reform and investment in job training and higher education. 

"Our property tax rates and the continued increases are crushing working and middle class families," he says on his website. "It is preventing people from having extra money to spend back into our economy, saving money for their children’s future, and being able to start small businesses."

Gonzales has filed objections to petitions of two other candidates he claims were put up by a Madigan insider only after Gonzales filed during the last minutes of filing.

He told Reboot Illinois' Matt Dietrich what happened on that day at the Board of Elections:

“I specifically timed it so I had a shot at just me and Speaker Madigan on the ballot. Evidently I didn’t time it late enough. I didn’t want to time it too close because I was afraid there might be a line or something could have gone wrong where I couldn’t have filed. So I was waiting for the last minute and honestly they were not expecting me. I watched the whole thing go down,” says Gonzales. “I filed and … one of Mr. Madigan’s lobbyists or assistants… saw me because they thought I wasn’t running. There were rumors that I had dropped out of the race and I guess they had sort of staked their belief on that. When he saw me, he jumped up, grabbed a file box, went out into the hallway and I watched him pull two candidates’ petitions out of the box. Another assistant prepared them and as soon as I filed, they walked in with other people and filed those candidates right behind me.”

Gonzales believes Madigan’s longtime campaign foot soldier Shaw Decremer engineered the last-minute filings.

“Many of the signatures it’s our belief that they are bogus or they’re not valid in one way, shape or form. So the community members have filed objections to these two candidates which are very clearly Madigan plants. ” Gonzales said. “I don’t know anything about them. They appear just to be people from the neighborhood. I will find out more. I’ll be stopping by their homes at some point to introduce myself.”



If those petitions are thrown out, the 22nd primary will be between Madigan and Gonzales.

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  1. Anyone certain this guy Gonzales isn’t just another Madigan shill candidate?
    When Michelle Pizor ran against Madigan for the Democrat nomination a few years ago, he spent an estimated $50,000 just on campaign signs to plaster all across his district, and when home owners took them down, they found new ones in their front lawns the next morning.
    If Mr. Gonzal4es is “legit,” where is his campaign money coming from?