July 9th, 2009
07:51 PM ET
5 years ago

Embattled senator will not run in 2010

Illinois Democrat Sen. Roland Burris is expected to announce Friday that he will not run in 2010.
Illinois Democrat Sen. Roland Burris is expected to announce Friday that he will not run in 2010.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Roland Burris, D-Illinois, is expected to announce Friday that he will not run for a full six year term next year, a well-placed Democratic source tells CNN.

Burris is currently serving the remaining two years of President Obama’s Senate term, but he has never been embraced by Democratic leaders in Illinois or Capitol Hill.

A Burris spokeswoman would not comment on the senator’s future political plans, but his office did release an advisory Thursday stating that he would make a “major announcement” during a speech Friday afternoon in Chicago. A spokesman for Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin, D-Illinois, said that Burris had spoken to Durbin but would only say “we will let him speak for himself” on Friday.

Burris was appointed to the seat in late December by then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who had been arrested on federal corruption charges for allegedly trying to sell Obama’s seat to the highest bidder. Democratic Party leaders urged Blagojevich not to make an appointment, but he disregarded those wishes by naming Burris, a former state attorney general and state comptroller, to the seat.

Blagojevich was impeached and removed from office in January and Democrats grudgingly recognized Burris as the junior senator from Illinois. But he still faced an investigation and scrutiny at the same time he was trying to learn the ropes on Capitol Hill.

In June, the state attorney in Sangamon County ruled that it would not charge Burris with perjury in connection with his testimony for the alleged “pay for play” scheme with Blagojevich to fill the Senate seat. John Schmidt, the state’s attorney, said that Burris gave incomplete but truthful answers to questions about his conversations with Balogjevich’s representatives.

Without the backing of national and state Democrats, it would be a difficult, if not impossible, campaign for Burris to run for his own six year term. Now, the question is who will run for Burris’ seat? A top candidate for the nomination, state Attorney Gen. Lisa Madigan, announced earlier this week that she would run for reelection of her current office. Other Democrats reportedly eyeing the seat include Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, Chicago Urban League President Cheryle Jackson, and Chicago businessman Christopher Kennedy. Kennedy is the son of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, D-New York.

A senior Senate Republican source tells CNN that Rep. Mark Kirk has told GOP leaders that he plans to run for the seat. A Kirk spokesman could not be reached for comment Thursday evening.

– CNN’s Paul Steinhauser and Evan Glass contributed to this report.

Updated: 7:51 p.m.


Filed under: Roland Burris • Senate
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Too bad; it would have ensured a Republican win.

    July 9, 2009 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  2. Tammy

    a no brainer

    July 9, 2009 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  3. Kris in AL

    Dear Senator Burris,

    We really wish you would run!

    Sincerely,

    The National Republican Committee

    July 9, 2009 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  4. galia

    Oh no.

    July 9, 2009 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  5. JonDie

    Good riddance.

    July 9, 2009 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  6. Old_guy

    Thank the good lord for not wasting our time and effort. Enjoy your retirement with all the funds you a acquired over the years.

    July 9, 2009 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  7. was appointed to the seat in late December by then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich

    I will believe Burris does the honorable thing when I see it

    He should not have accepted the appointment and so he has a steep hill to climb to be honorable

    July 9, 2009 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  8. REPUB OF LA.

    crooks their all crooks----

    July 9, 2009 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  9. Tim

    Roland, please dont' go, I love the circus.

    July 9, 2009 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  10. CHANGE.COM

    He had no chance of winning if he tried. He is doing the obvious, which, if he had common sense, he would have done long ago. That is: not to have accepted the appointment in the first place.

    July 9, 2009 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  11. Rick

    Good. This guy is dirty, no doubt.

    July 9, 2009 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  12. sonnie4

    Anything bad that happen to Burris he deserved it ,Because all he wanted was another title on his tombstone.He didnt give a heck about
    the people of Illinois,He was so self centered he did;nt care what the outcome was.But I bet he is regreting the whole thing now.
    The whole thing was so corrupt I am surprise he did'nt take his own life.That man was so stupid the only other person in politics that is stupid as him is Sarah Palin.I hope he resign as senator just like Sarah Palin resign as Governor and the writing is on the wall
    Bye Bye Roland & Sarah

    July 9, 2009 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  13. JOSE ALCANTARA

    Sorry, If I were Mr. Burris, I would not even take this Jr. Senator in
    Capitol Hill, but less beg for it. He should know better.

    Thanks.

    Jose Alcantara

    July 9, 2009 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  14. Rasheen

    You mean he was actually seated as a Senator? I was wondering whatever happened to this guy. Didn't he admit that he lied to a congressional panel during the vetting process? I seem to remember he sent them a letter stating that he had not been "completely honest" with them, the first time, and he wanted to add some vitally important information, to the record, that he neglected to mention when he should have. Wasn't he rebuked and censured for that?

    July 9, 2009 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  15. Keith in Austin

    He's not running because he has a date at the Big House! Burris is just another Chicago Liberal Crook!

    July 9, 2009 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  16. Johnny DC

    Obama abandoned his Senator position, as a first-term Senator? To seek higher office? This is appalling. How dare he abandon his constituents to try and serve a higher calling!!!

    Wait.... where have I heard this before?

    Liberals - from the latin "Liberalus", meaning "arrogant hypocrites".

    July 9, 2009 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  17. David

    Good choice for Burris.

    July 9, 2009 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  18. Voter

    I guess this guy was too much even for the most politically corrupt state in the nation, Illinois.

    Democrats should be ashamed.

    July 9, 2009 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  19. staffordc

    It's evident that Burris only wanted 15 minutes of fame here. He now realizes that he has 3 minutes left of his 15, which will help potential candidates prepare to take the seat. Bye-Bye Burris.

    July 9, 2009 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  20. BUICK

    He won't run because he can't win. He can't win because they've been digging up many of his previous voters in Alsip, IL – - a matter of grave concern for all Illinois Democrats!

    July 9, 2009 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  21. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    It is about time! Burris isn't as stupid as I thought. He realized that the taint of his appointer is still with him. He can't be much good with that hanging around his neck.

    July 9, 2009 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  22. Brandon Skates

    I am so happy to hear this! I am a democrat, but for us to be taken seriously we cannot have him running for re-election. However, I want to say for the record that I think the reason he is bowing out is because he realizes he wasn't going to win. Either way... I'm glad to see him go. As an African-American I know we're under-represented in the senate (Burris is the only African-American there), but I do not want him to be that person.

    July 9, 2009 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  23. Mark,B'ham,Al.

    Chicago's corrupt political machine can get him elected in the state of Illinois so he might as well run.

    July 10, 2009 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  24. Justen

    good. his is prolly the dirtiest appointment ever.

    July 10, 2009 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  25. Illinois Resident

    Burris just wanted to be able to carve something else into the wall of his ridiculous tomb. If he ran for a second term, he'd actually have to worry about his record, contributions, positions, etc. This way he can say that he was a senator (even though he hasn't won any election since the early 90's), and not have to work for it. I heard someone refer to him as "Polital Sorbet" – a little something offered in between, to hold the place between the two main courses.

    July 10, 2009 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
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