The stepdaughter of House Speaker Michael Madigan (No. 4) made headlines in January when she sued Standard & Poor’s for fraud. But her real power rests in her popularity. Any Illinois Democrat considering a run for governor, attorney general, or the U.S. Senate must start by asking one question: “What’s Lisa doing?” Unlike some other political brats, Madigan is smart and competent, and she may be the party’s best candidate for governor in 2014—if her stepfather retires. Not even Illinois will accept the same family running the governor’s office and the legislature.
MORE ON MADIGAN: The Sins of the Father—Should Lisa Madigan Return the Money?
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Photograph: M. Spencer Green/AP