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    The lengthy battle officially began on the second Wednesday of 1975. At the time, no one could have known it would take nearly two weeks and 93 ballots to select the 64th speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives. The drawn-out process, which pitted a “wheeler-dealer” backed by then-Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley against Democrats calling for a new era, ended with the selection of a consensus candidate that resulted in the state’s major political power brokers “taking a beating,” in the words of one reporter.

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