So-called GOP candidate challenges Illinois House Speaker
By Kyle Maichle
CHICAGO, Illinois: As Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan is facing the prospect of his party losing control in the Illinois House of Representatives, his Republican opponent may not be a Republican.
Patrick John Ryan filed paperwork with the Illinois State Board of Elections to run as a Republican against the current House Speaker. However, records obtained from Chicago Magazine revealed that the 30 year old candidate from Chicago's Southwest Side casted ballots towards the Democrats in every election since 1998.
Some people have questioned that the Ryan's Republican candidacy was engineered by fellow staffers of the Illinois House Speaker. House Republican Leader Tom Cross dismissed Ryan's candidacy and accused the Speaker's staff of using a sham Republican candidate to preserve his political power. Speaker Madigan denied the allegations and said that his job is to only elect Democrats to the Illinois State House.
Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady said that they were unsuccessful in recruiting a candidate of their own to go up against Madigan. Additional records from the State Board of Elections found that Ryan does not have a fund-raising committee.