(CNN) - President-elect Barack Obama has announced that he will officially resign his Senate seat as of this Sunday.
“It has been one of the highest honors and privileges of my life to have served the people of Illinois in the United States Senate,” he said in a statement released by his campaign Thursday.
“In a state that represents the crossroads of a nation, I have met so many men and women who’ve taken different journeys, but hold common hopes for their children’s future. It is these Illinois families and their stories that will stay with me as I leave the United States Senate and begin the hard task of fulfilling the simple hopes and common dreams of all Americans as our nation’s next President.”
Obama’s Senate office will close sometime within the next two months. His Senate staff will spend that time coordinating with his replacement, advising constituents with open requests, and archiving documents for Obama’s presidential library.
Several Illinois Democrats - including Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and Iraq war veteran Tammy Duckworth, a former congressional candidate who now serves in Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s administration – have been mentioned as possible Senate replacements for Obama.
Blagojevich, who will appoint Obama’s successor, announced last week that he was assembling a panel to vet likely candidates. Obama’s replacement would be up for re-election in 2010.
Vice president-elect Joe Biden – who was also re-elected to his Delaware Senate seat on November 4 - told an interviewer several weeks ago that he would resign when he's sworn in as vice president in January.