The Democrat-controlled General Assembly plans to convene Thursday and vote on whether to hold a special election in two years for state comptroller, potentially handing Republican Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner a loss even before he takes office next week. House Speaker Michael Madigan on Wednesday threw his support behind a proposal for a 2016 special election to fill the seat of late comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, an idea pitched by outgoing Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn. Rauner opposes it and intends to name a four-year replacement immediately after he is sworn in.
Republicans say the move, which could cut Rauner’s appointment in half, is a purely partisan maneuver at a time the two sides have pledged mutual cooperation in addressing the state’s biggest issues. But Democrats deny that, insisting it is intended only to give voters a choice in the matter.
“It only sets a frosty tone if people want to politicize it or assume that those who are for this proposal are trying to politicize it,” said Rep. Lou Lang of Skokie, a deputy House majority leader.