July 10th, 2009
03:11 PM ET
5 years ago

Burris not running for a full Senate term

CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) - Sen. Roland Burris, D-Illinois, announced Friday that he will not run for a full six-year term next year.

"Being a United States senator today requires not only a significant time commitment to performing the job, but almost equal commitment to raising funds to run competitively for the office," he told a crowd of people at the Chicago South Loop Hotel.

"In making this decision I was called to choose between spending my time raising funds or spending my time raising issues for my state," he said.

"I believe that the business of the people of the state of Illinois should always come first."

As Burris emerged to speak, the crowd had greeted him with cheers, urging him to run.

Burris, currently the only African-American U.S. senator, is serving the remaining two years of President Barack Obama's Senate term, but he has never been embraced by his party's leaders in Illinois or Capitol Hill.

He 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 leaders had urged Blagojevich not to make an appointment. 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.


Filed under: Roland Burris
soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. Uncle Ellsworthy

    Why would he. There is no way he could have won.

    July 10, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  2. blaster

    Good riddance. Enjoy your extra pension you thief.

    July 10, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  3. Fair is Fair

    Please tell me this clown didn't actually think he could win an election.

    July 10, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  4. Me

    Good.

    July 10, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  5. Antonio from Chi-Town

    YES YES YES!

    Lisa Madigan, our AG will run =)

    July 10, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  6. jeff in hawaii

    Maybe he and soon to be ex-Gov. Palin can team up and do a talk show.
    They could call it, "How to Profit from Quitting".

    July 10, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  7. karuna

    He's a goner – as if he would have any chance in hell to win anything else for the rest of his life. Should just go quietly and engrave on his mausoleum "the man who bought his way in disgrace".

    July 10, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  8. Nick

    Andy Martin for U.S. Senator from Illinois!

    July 10, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  9. Fair is Fair

    jeff in hawaii July 10th, 2009 3:24 pm ET

    Maybe he and soon to be ex-Gov. Palin can team up and do a talk show.
    They could call it, "How to Profit from Quitting".
    ______________________

    Or he could team up with Blago and call it "Pay me now or no senate later".

    July 10, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  10. joe

    Good. He is a good and honorable man!

    July 10, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  11. NEW VOTER

    Anyone surprised of this fool? Like he never saw it coming.

    July 10, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  12. peter

    Atleast he is faithful to his wife and family and his parents are not paying the mistress!

    July 10, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  13. Zero.

    Conflicting Words. Say nothing. To run with it! Is to use it.
    Bitterness will choke eventually...

    July 10, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  14. Sandra - Illinois

    I couldn't be happier about his decision. I was so afraid we would have to put up with him during the campaign. Roland Burris is not capable nor does he have the character to be deserving of representing the State of Illinois. Any time you have someone who will do "anything" to get what he wants, he is not to be trusted. He couldn't possibly win, but he is saving us from saying No. He also does not deserve that pension. He accomplished nothing except to take up a seat he didn't deserve.

    July 10, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  15. mike

    antonio, listen up. madigan isnt running. She already announced it.

    July 10, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  16. Marc

    "In making this decision I was called to choose between spending my time raising funds or spending my time raising issues for my state," he said.

    "I believe that the business of the people of the state of Illinois should always come first."

    Utter nonsense. He has lied consistently about his involvement with Blagojevich and knows full well he can't afford anymore information to surface. He oiled himself into the seat and didn't care a dime about the people of Illinois.

    July 10, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  17. Matt in CT

    "Atleast he is faithful to his wife and family and his parents are not paying the mistress!"

    Yeah, and at least he's not driving some poor woman into a cold, watery grave (while drunk.)

    July 10, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  18. Taylor B1

    Burris should be happy...he can still engrave the words "United States Senator" on his fancy tombstone where it will remian for years for all to see...wasn't that his main goal in the first place?

    July 10, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  19. LiLa

    Was Burris ever meant to be anything more than a placeholder until the elections in 2010?

    July 10, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  20. minnie

    It adds up. You know people from Illinois.

    July 10, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  21. susan

    Thanks Roland. You are a nice man and you got the message from us Illinoisans. I still hope Lisa Madigan runs.

    July 10, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  22. mad33712

    Does anyone know if he'll be eligible for a Senate pension, even though he only served a short time? That whole system often seems like a scam to me. What about it, CNN?

    July 10, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  23. Allen in Hartwell GA

    I don't know if this guy would make, or is a good senator or not. But given the circumstances I think he would have one heck of a fight to get reelected, and probably lose in the end. Wise choice in my opinion.

    July 10, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  24. Charles

    He can put "US Senator" in his biography and enjoy fat pension and retirement. But how did he get that position is always a contraversial.

    July 10, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  25. Lance Coardill

    I am a Republican and have been my entire life, but I just don't get the appeal of Sarah Palin. Yeah, she's somewhat hot when compared, say, to Nancy Pelosi but there's not much upstairs to recommend.

    I have come to the realization that the party is so desperate that they'd take anything with a pulse, is somewhat attractive and can raise the hue and cry. Given that, I shall encourage my Labrador retriever to enter the race.

    July 10, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
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