Mike Quigley

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Mike Quigley

b. October 17, 1958

U.S. Congress, 5th District (2009-)
Cook County, 10th District Commissioner (1998-2009)

Originally from the suburbs, Mike Quigley served as Chief of Staff for 44th Ward Alderman Bernie Hansen. While Hansen was closely allied to the machine, Quigley was studiously more progressive and served as Hansen's bridge to the Ward's growing gay and progressive communities Lakefront ward. When incumbent Cook County Commissioner Maria Pappas left her seat to run for County Treasurer in 1998, Quigley and a large field of candidates all jumped into the race, which he ultimately won.

As Cook County Commissioner, Quigley became a regular thorn in Board President John Stroger's side, who as a Democratic regular, subscribed to the idea that other Commissioners are better seen not heard. Quigley regularly called for cuts in County government spending, elimination of patronage hiring and even the elimination of some County elected offices, like Recorder of Deeds and Treasurer's offices. His advocacy for eliminating political positions did not endear him to other elected officials. However, his work for progressive causes and for North Side Democrats had brought him into friendships with leading political operatives Forrest Claypool and Pete Giangreco, relationships that would help him considerably later on.

That opportunity came in 2009, when then-Congressman Rahm Emanuel stepped down from his seat to become White House Chief of Staff for newly-elected President Barack Obama. Claypool and Giangreco had played leading roles in the 2008 Obama campaign, and were also close friends of Emanuel. They immediately threw their support and expertise behind Quigley, when he announced his campaign for Emanuel's seat in a special election.

Along with Quigley, the Democratic primary attracted twelve candidates to the ballot. While other candidates outspent Quigley, his name recognition was highest and his campaign operation benefited from Giangreco and Claypool's expertise, helping him to win the primary and ultimately the seat.

Since his election to Congress Quigley has mostly withdrawn from local politics, choosing to focus his energy on Congress, where he is likely to stay for many years to come.


  • 1981, Roosevelt University, B.A.
  • 1985, University of Chicago, M.P.P.
  • 1989, Loyola University School of Law, J.D.

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