House Speaker Michael Madigan has been in the Illinois General Assembly since 1971, has been speaker of the Illinois House for all but two years since 1983 and is chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party. He's widely regarded as the most powerful politician in the state.
But Jason Gonzales of Chicago says he's not intimidated by Madigan's longevity and reputation. He's challenging Madigan in the March 15, 2016, Democratic primary for Madigan's 22nd Illinois House District.
"For me this is a grassroots campaign but I feel if I could get to a certain threshold of support that it can be done. It can't be done with nothing but it can be done with something," says Gonzales, 41. "We're talking about 10,000 votes here. We're not talking about 300,000 votes. If you look at the voting history in the primary you've got 35,000 people that are sitting on the sidelines doing nothing, registered."
On this week's "Only in Illinois," Gonzales talks about his David-vs.-Goliath campaign, his reasons for running and his effort to get two other Democratic challengers thrown off the ballot.
Gonzales waited until the last minute to file his nominating petitions with the Illinois State Board of Elections specifically so he and Madigan would be the only candidates on the Democratic primary ballot. He believes the other two candidates were planted there by Madigan's allies to take votes away from him.
Gonzales says no one put him up to challenging Madigan. In the Super PAC era, however, he could find support for his campaign from a couple of independent expenditure committees that oppose Madigan.
Watch this week's "Only in Illinois" here.