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Election night ‘bloodbath’ for state GOP

Updated: December 9, 2012 7:38PM

Tuesday’s election results represented what one GOP strategist soberly called “a bloodbath for Illinois Republicans” at the Statehouse.

With the defeat of four House Republican incumbents and a net gain of seven seats, House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, secured a 71-47 veto-proof majority in the Illinois House.

The results were similar — and more historic — in the Senate for Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, who picked up a net gain of five seats, giving him a 40-19 veto-proof majority.

Those stunning gains also figure to weaken Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, who no longer will have the capability of singlehandedly blocking legislation with his veto pen.

“The map the Democrats drew performed as they designed,” said Patty Schuh, a spokeswoman for Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno, R-Lemont.

The effect of the Democratic-friendly legislative maps coupled with President Obama’s huge numbers mean DuPage County will be represented by a Democrat in the state Senate for the first time in Illinois history.

That person is Villa Park Village President Tom Cullerton, who also happens to be a third cousin of the Senate president.

The other historic footnote from Tuesday’s election is that no party has ever had a 40-vote majority in the Illinois Senate, the Senate president said.

A question that won’t become clear until later this year or early next year is how secure of a hold either Radogno or House Minority Leader Tom Cross, R-Oswego, may have on their legislative leader slots given the scale of Tuesday’s losses within their caucuses.

With both chambers now having veto-proof Democratic majorities, Quinn’s veto authority becomes nearly meaningless after the new General Assembly is seated in January.

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