July 10th, 2009
03:11 PM ET
13 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. Jenny, ME

    Congress should make a law that says if your governor has been indicted, he can't pick a Senator. Blago and Burris are clowns and Burris should never have had the opportunity to darken the door of the Senate. He was a little boy, a jokester, trying to walk in Barack Obama's shoes (which didn't work). It was shameful.

    This man knows he didn't have a chance in hellNO for re-election. He slithered in the Senate, got the pension, and now he's going to slither out. As an African American I'm ashamed of him. And btw, he played the race card, big time. The Senators should have barred the door, not because of race, but because of ETHICS.

    I hope Blago goes to jail for a long, long time and I hope Burris is demonized for the rest of his pathetic life.

    And if I were the cemetery, I'd make him pay through the nose to put Senator on his stupid tombstone.

    July 10, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  2. nom deplume


    July 10, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  3. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    It's a sound decision by Burris.

    And for those pushing Madigan – she wasn't qualified for the AG job she got because of a murderous lack of experience. Just because she's the daughter of the State Majority Leader doesn't make her qualified, and I'm a former Illinois Democrat who is being very candid on this!

    And to Jenny in ME: You know nothing of Burris' past; he's a class act and been a great public servant. He got caught up in a situation he could never survive.

    July 10, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  4. Jeremiah

    Burris is just another useless and corrupt politician from Chicago. Maybe Obama will follow and go live with Bush, that way we don't have to hear from either of the fools.

    July 10, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  5. Ken in NC

    @ Susan in Chicago........................ "So he will get a Senate Pension".

    No Susan. Senator Burris will not have been in the Senate long enough to qualify for a pension. He will only get the pay of a Senator for the period of time he actually serves in the Senate. I hope that is a relief to you. It is to me.

    July 10, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  6. New Age Democrat

    Burris is an embarrassment, but not nearly as much as the DNC for allowing him to be seated at all.

    July 10, 2009 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  7. mike

    Why should he run he now gets a pay check for the rest of his life with health care?

    July 10, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  8. makesUwonder

    Burris.............once a crook always a crook.

    July 10, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  9. Sam I Am

    I watched Ann Coulter describe this situation. Man, she makes me laugh. Somehow, in her twisted mind, anything Democratic is akin to satan. She seems to think, like her own bunch, that Democrats can't think. Sorry Annie, dear, we liberals think he's a fool. Unlike your bunch, we recognize a fool, no matter what party he or she is in. The best thing Burris could do is quit. Of course, he won't do that. No one in their right mind would quit in the middle of a term, would they. No one with any sense or brains would quit in the middle of a term. Nope. Only a complete idiot would quit in the middle of a term.

    July 10, 2009 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  10. Tim

    You got to love all the dems who were faux outraged at the Burris appointment, but not so much that they refused to seat him. They worked with Bobby Rush and asked him to play the race card so that they had an easy out. After all, you want a majority in the house, whether you gain it on principal or whether you get it with slime all over your body.

    July 10, 2009 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  11. annie for Palin

    Well that's a shame – he fits in so well with the rest of the crooks in dc. I thought him and frankenstein could become best buds.

    July 10, 2009 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
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