Chris Cillizza reports:
Illinois Sen. Roland Burris (D) will not seek a full term in 2010, according to an informed Democratic strategist, a decision that was all-but-certain given the appointed senator’s ties to former governor Rod Blagojevich.
Burris had refused to make any commitment about his future plans until today although his ever-changing story regarding his relationship with the disgraced former governor and his non-existent fundraising during the first three months of the year led savvy strategists to conclude he would not (or could not) run.
The race had passed Burris by with speculation centering on whether or not Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan (D) would run. (She decided against doing so earlier this week.)
With Burris formally out of the race, the Democratic slate is likely to come down to state Treasurer Alexi Giannnoulias and Merchandise Mart CEO Chris Kennedy. Republicans face the possibility of a primary of their own with Rep. Mark Kirk in the race and Illinois Republican Party Chairman Andy McKenna weighing a bid.
Kirk would likely have a tough time in the primary if he ran, considering there are conservatives who view him with high disdain after he voted in favor of the House Democrats’ cap and trade bill last month. Not only that, but his lifetime “conservative” rating isn’t much better than Arlen Specter’s. Kirk hasn’t said anything about whether or not he intends to run next year for the Obama’s old Senate seat, but McKenna is already making moves towards doing just that (he ran and lost in the 2004 GOP Senate primary to Jack Ryan). You can read a little more about him here and here.
Would love to hear from Illinois readers on both of these (potential) GOP candidates.