Mike Madigan


Mike Madigan

Age: 71

Occupation: Speaker, Illinois House

Madigan clings to his No. 2 spot on this list, but barely. In 2013, he was hounded by a Metra patronage scandal and embarrassed by a rare public feud with Attorney General Lisa Madigan (No. 52), his daughter, over her much-anticipated candidacy for governor, which he squashed. Still, the speaker used his dominance in the General Assembly to draft and pass a sweeping pension reform package. And after a progressive gaggle of legislators bent his ear, he gave his blessing to a same-sex marriage bill. With Lisa out of the limelight, insiders wonder whether Madigan, the state party chairman, will use his army of political workers and vast reserves of campaign cash to deliver the vote for incumbent governor Pat Quinn, with whom he’s feuded. After all, Madigan has always seemed to play nicer with Republican governors.

Photo: Richard Foertsch/photo Prose