UPDATED: Harmon names new leadership team
Sen. Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, speaks to the media Jan. 19 after being elected Senate president. On Tuesday, the first day of the legislative session, Harmon announced his leadership team. (Capitol News Illinois file photo by Jerry Nowicki)
Cunningham of Chicago named president pro tempore
Editor's Note: The story has been updated to correct the title of Sen. Jacqueline Collins' position to deputy majority caucus chair.
By JERRY NOWICKI
Capitol News Illinois
SPRINGFIELD — New Illinois Senate President Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, announced his leadership team Tuesday on the first day of the 2020 legislative session.
Kimberly Lightford, D-Maywood, will remain the chamber’s majority leader, while Bill Cunningham, D-Chicago, will become an assistant majority leader and president pro tempore — a position once held by Harmon under former President John Cullerton before he changed the caucus’ leadership structure.
Sen. Laura Murphy, D-Des Plaines, will serve in another newly created position — that of deputy majority leader.
Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Aurora, previously a majority caucus whip, will ascend to assistant majority leader as well. She joins Sens. Dave Koehler, D-Peoria, Iris Martinez, D-Chicago, and Tony Munoz, D-Chicago, who all already held assistant majority leader positions and will retain them.
Sen. Mattie Hunter, D-Chicago, will remain majority caucus chair, and Jacqueline Collins, D-Chicago, will be the deputy majority caucus chair, a newly created position. She was previously a majority caucus whip.
The three new majority caucus whips will be Omar Aquino, D-Chicago, Michael Hastings, D-Tinley Park, and Napoleon Harris, D-Harvey, all new to the position.
Noticeably absent from the list is Sen. Terry Link, D-Indian Creek, who was an assistant majority leader under Cullerton. Chicago newspapers have identified Link as the unnamed senator who cooperated with the FBI and wore a wire in conversations with indicted former Rep. Luis Arroyo. Link has denied the allegation and has not been charged with any wrongdoing.