WASHINGTON (CNN) – President-Elect Barack Obama resigned from the Senate earlier this week setting off a mad scramble to fill the two remaining years of his six-year term representing Illinois.
More than half a dozen people ranging from state lawmakers to current congressmen have been mentioned as potential successors to Obama. But it will not be the future commander-in-chief who will choose the next Illinois senator. Instead, that power rests in the hands of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, a fellow Democrat. Blagojevich has maintained his decision will not be made in haste, and he wants “to ensure that Obama’s successor will understand and fight for the needs of average Illinoisans.”
There is no clear successor in the wings and in the old school politics that shape the Illinois and Chicago landscape, Blagojevich will likely weigh several factors as he makes this decision notwithstanding his own possible re-election in 2010.
Candidates likely being considered for the open Senate seat:
U.S. Rep. Danny Davis
Illinois Dept. of Veterans Affairs Director Tammy Duckworth
U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez
U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.
Illinois Senate President Emil Jones Jr.
Illinois Attorney Gen. Lisa Madigan
U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky