Dem Rep. Drury: Voting “present” for Speaker on the path less traveled

Jan 11, 2017

State Rep. Scott Drury, D-Highwood, did not vote for Michael J. Madigan in the election for Speaker of the House of the 100th General Assembly, voting “present” instead.  Below is Drury’s statement regarding the vote:

As a high school student, one of my favorite poems was Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken.”  The poem tells the story of a traveler who finds himself at a point where two roads diverge.  Forced to choose, the traveler chose the one less traveled, and “it made all the difference.”

Today, I found myself at a similar divergence and chose in accordance with Frost’s traveler.  I did not vote for Michael J. Madigan in the election for Speaker of the House.  To my knowledge, no one has taken this action in approximately 30 years.  Whether it will make “all the difference” remains to be seen.

I am confident that my vote represents the view of the vast majority of my constituents.  In that respect, the decision was easy.  Unfortunately, I have learned that what is popular with constituents does not always align with what is popular in Springfield.  In the end, I chose the public over politicians.

While my choice was binary – vote for Mr. Madigan or don’t – the vote was not about him.  Illinois is in a free-fall into the abyss.  My action today should give hope to the hopeless that a new day is on the horizon.

In the weeks leading up to this vote, I seriously explored the possibility of running for Speaker of the House.  To my knowledge, no Democrat has ever taken this initial step in the Madigan era.  It became clear that for myriad reasons a majority of the General Assembly is not ready for a new Speaker. 

Finally, I have been asked if I fear repercussions.  With history as a guide, the answer is yes.

Frost’s traveler said the road less traveled “made all the difference.”  He was silent on whether taking it was easy.  I will let you know.

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