Legislative candidate backs People’s Pledge
This fall, Massac County State’s Attorney Patrick Windhorst is running for the position of Illinois state representative from the 118th District.
But the 118th isn’t the only government position that Windhorst would like to see a new elected official occupy in the future.
As part of his campaign, Windhorst has been championing the People’s Pledge, an initiative started by Gov. Bruce Rauner that promises to bring about change in Illinois government.
Rauner is asking every candidate for state office to sign the pledge, promising to put term limits on the ballot, and to vote for someone besides Mike Madigan for speaker of the house.
Windhorst is one such candidate, and has been traveling to public bulletin boards throughout the district to post copies of the pledge, signed by him, and to discuss the importance of it’s message. One of his stops was at Stinson Memorial Library in Anna.
“Given the nature of where our state is, the problems we’ve had with entrenched power, I believe it is important for us as a state to have term limits. Just so we can continue to get new people and fresh ideas into the offices,” said Windhorst.
“We have a lot of big problems in the state, a lot of big problems that we need to move forward with. And the entrenched interests are not getting that done.”
Windhorst believes that one of those entrenched interests is current Illinois Speaker of the House Mike Madigan. It is for this reason that electing a new speaker is the second goal of the People’s Pledge.
“Mike Madigan has been in the house since 1971, he’s been speaker for all but two years since 1983, and as speaker of the house he has complete control over what comes for a vote, and therefore what becomes law,” said Windhorst. “In my opinion, that’s too much power for one person to have for that period of time.”
Area Republican candidates like State Rep. Terri Bryant, R-Murphysboro, and State Rep. Dave Severin, R-Benton, have both taken the governor’s pledge. But Windhorst argues that this initiative can be bipartisan, and not just the first part dealing with term limits.
“We are not asking Democrats to say they will vote for a Republican as speaker, we are just asking them to commit to voting for someone other that Mike Madigan for speaker,” said Windhorst.
Windhorst believes that electing a speaker of the house is an incredibly important responsibility of a state representative that often gets overlooked by their voters.
“Voters go to the polls, they vote for governor, they vote for secretary of state, they vote for local elections, but they don’t get a direct vote for the speaker. They vote for the representative that votes for the speaker, so it’s important to know who their rep will vote for speaker.”
Copies of the People’s Pledge can be found at Stinson Memorial Library or at Patrickwindhorst.com.