Madigan: Staying put best for family, state

Decision changes state's political landscape
July 8, 2009 (CHICAGO) That means the races for governor and U.S. Senate are a free for all.

"I am still passionate about my work. So today I am announcing that I will seek a third term as Illinois attorney general," said Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

And that means Lisa Madigan will not run for governor or U.S. Senate.

"At the end of the day, this is a decision that I made with my husband about what is best for us and our family and what is best for the state," said Madigan.

Madigan's father, Michael, is the Illinois House speaker and apparently plans to stay there. Some wonder whether that presents a conflict.

"They both understand that she has time," said political analyst Thom Serafin. "She is well-positioned to do things that she may want to do four years from now. And, remember, if you run for governor today, you're saddled if you win."

Saddled with debt, as Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn understands. And Republican candidates for governor are lining up - six so far, including three state senators - some reacted to Madigan's announcement.

"It help sharpens the race --knowing the likelihood of who the nominees are going to be and it probably brings more support on our side from donors and supporters," said State Sen. Matt Murphy, (R) Candidate for Governor.

In the U.S. Senate race for Republicans, Congressman Mark Kirk will run in the primary and at least four Democrats are considering the seat. Without Madigan, some acknowledge it may be easier.

"Because of the way she's run her office, people throughout the state of Illinois have a tremendous amount of respect for her. So, obviously, it makes it easier for someone on the Democratic side," said Alexi Giannoulias, (D) Candidate for U.S. Senate.

So now, Madigan will face Republican Joe Birkett for the attorney general job.

The DuPage County state's attorney released a statement, saying: "Lisa Madigan's announcement does not change my plans. I look forward to offering Illinois voters new leadership in a state that desperately needs it."

Many politicians are absorbing Madigan's announcement and trying to figure out what it means for their political aspirations. We counted at least five Democrats who were interested in running for attorney general. Now, their plans may change.

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