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Dust still settling day after Madigan announcement

July 9, 2009 3:30:34 PM PDT
Some Democrats in Illinois are doing a lot of political maneuvering after Lisa Madigan's surprise announcement Wednesday that she plans to seek re-election as attorney general in 2010, instead of making a run for governor or US Senate. And there could soon be another surprise announcement that would affect the Illinois political landscape.

Let the games begin. There is behind the scenes maneuvering, deals, alliances and likely a bit of backstabbing going on as Democrats figure out their place in politics. Many admit, with Lisa Madigan out, fundraising becomes easier. But apparently it has never been easy for Senator Roland Burris, The Chicago Sun-Times and Tribune are reporting he has decided not to run, because he has raised so little money. Expect several formal announcements from others in the next few weeks.

Political dust has barely settled after Wednesday's surprise announcement from Lisa Madigan, especially in her own party. State Comptroller Dan Hynes, who was planning a run for attorney general, is now likely to seek Illinois' highest office...

"Comptroller Hynes has run several successful campaigns. He knows how to run a competitive statewide operation, and we plan on being very aggressive and running a top-notch campaign," said Mike Redina, Dan Hynes spokesman.

The Democratic primary campaign for governor is likely to pit Hynes against current Governor Pat Quinn, if he decides to run.

The big question is, Where will the money go? Roosevelt University professor Paul Green says it all depends on Lisa Madigan's father, Michael Madigan, who is the chairman of the state Democratic party.

"If he plays neutral, then Dan Hynes and Pat Quinn have a shot at some real money. That's going to be key. If he puts a horse in the race, then that makes it a little more difficult," said Green.

And let the fundraising begin for the US Senate seat. Already, several Democrats are lining up, including State Treasurer Alexi Gianoulias, who believes a Lisa Madigan-less race will free up some funds.

"I'm assuming it will make fund-raising hopefully a little easier," said Giannoulias.

The son of Robert Kennedy, Chris Kennedy, is very interested in the seat, as is Chicago Urban League President Cheryl Jackson, who says she has been too busy planning the National Urban League Conference to plan her next move.

"I'm sure after the conference I'll have lots and lots and lots to say," Jackson said.

That leaves the sitting US Senator Roland Burris.

"He has to make that decision on his time and nobody else's time. Money is certainly a factor," said Delmarie Cobb, Burris's campaign aide.

Burris is expected to have a news conference Friday. The Chicago Sun-Times and The Tribune are reporting Burris has decided not to run.

Meantime, many Republicans believe, with Lisa Madigan out, an opportunity opens up for them in this heavily blue state. North Shore Congressman Mark Kirk is likely to run for senate. National Democrats have already started an e-mailing campaign against him.


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