Richard Porter

President-elect Donald Trump, Gov. Bruce Rauner, and House Speaker Michael Madigan
Trump by Michael Vadon/Flickr, Rauner and Madigan by Brian Mackey/NPR Illinois

As we get ready to welcome 2017, we thought we’d take a few minutes to listen back to another tough year in Illinois government and politics. We heard Republicans struggling to reckon with Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy, Democrats and Republicans engaging in another year of war over the soul of Illinois policy, and a growing list of everyday people being crushed by the budget standoff. Here now are some of the voices that made news in 2016.

Bruce Rauner at Inauguration 2015
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

In just a few years, one man has transformed the Illinois Republican Party from a perennial also-ran into a serious contender. Bruce Rauner been an agenda-setter, a shot-caller, and a rainmaker. And his party’s true believers couldn’t be happier.

Amanda Vinicky

The conventional wisdom is: Ted Cruz’s speech at the Republican National Convention tore open fresh wounds of divided party.

Illinois National Republican Committeeman Richard Porter says the outrage at Cruz isn’t a sign of discord.

“That was unity man, that was 25,000 people booing him all at once," he said.

The comment prompted Jim Fisher, a farmer from near Bloomington, to walk out of the Illinois delegation’s morning meeting.

"No, no – that’s what, that’s what. No, no, I don’t agree with that," he said.