State Representative Emanuel “Chris” Welch is replacing Michael Madigan as Illinois’ next Speaker of the House. The Hillside Democrat was elected yesterday, becoming the first African American to win the powerful leadership position. He succeeds Madigan, the longest serving statehouse speaker in U.S. history. Welch first entered the race this week after Madigan suspended his own campaign. Mayor Lightfoot congratulated Welch on Twitter, saying she is excited to work with him to address the needs of residents across Chicago and the entire state.