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Jerry Nowicki/Capitol News Illinois

State Rep. Lisa Hernandez, who was elected chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Illinois on Saturday, is pictured with outgoing chair Robin Kelly, a congresswoman from Matteson. The pair embraced briefly before the meeting Saturday morning in which Hernandez was elected unanimously after a contentious effort by Hernandez’s backers to replace Kelly in the days prior.

SPRINGFIELD — The vote for state Rep. Elizabeth “Lisa” Hernandez as the Democratic Party of Illinois’ first Latino chairwoman was unanimous and uneventful Saturday morning — the drama had occurred in the days prior in a power struggle of some of the state’s most prominent Democrats.

Hernandez was backed Gov. J.B. Pritzker and House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch. She served with Welch on a special investigating committee of House Speaker Michael Madigan in 2020, which chose to take no action against the speaker for his alleged role in a yearslong bribery scheme with a public utility. Several months later, Madigan was indicted.

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