Burris to retire next year

Posted by: ST on July 10, 2009 at 9:15 am

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.

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13 Responses to “Burris to retire next year”


  1. Donna J says:



  2. mary ellen says:

    Kirk should not run. I hope he learns a lesson about straddling both sides of the fence. If conservatives want to win they need to be consistently conservative. A republican lite is no conservative at all he/she is just an opportunist!!!

  3. Carlos says:

    Doesn’t seem to matter much. Heck, in the last two election cycles there the cemetery vote has been fully supplemented with the OakNuts, who are rock solid in the state. The OakNuts claim to be offended by “stolen” elections in Florida and Ohio, but as long as I can remember (several decades now) Illinois has held the “theft of elections” standard.

    I just can’t see it changing.

  4. Lorica says:

    Good Riddance!! It will be nice to finally have the constititutionally mandated 2nd Senator after 4 years of not having one. Well actually since our senior Senator is not all together there, it would be nice if the State of Illinois actually had 2 Senators, not just half a person.

    As far as Kirk goes, let him switch parties and join the Democrats. I won’t vote for him. – Lorica

  5. Ron Russell says:

    Roland Burris is a joke and I suspect no one will miss him on capital hill. As for Kirk, I just can’t find myself supporting fence-sitters Republican or Democrate they stand for nothing with their finger in the air to see which way the wind is blowing–I have a much better place for them to put their finger.

  6. Carlos says:

    As was noted in another comment, “moderate” is just another word that means “I don’t have the guts to take a stand but I want to feel the love from the MSM so I’ll always go lib when it counts.”

  7. Steve Skubinna says:

    Hey, it’s cool – Burris still gets to chisel (oh, what a fine word! so freighted with meanings!) “Senator” on his mausoleum. That’s all he really wanted anyway.

  8. CZ says:

    Kirk’s conservative image has been tarnished but since he IS from Illinois the sky’s the limit.

    Local Chicago radio talk shows had him on as a regular guest.

    He always seemed to be conservative with his military cred and plain spoken appeal. Kirk represents a very liberal district on the north shore. A staunch liberal has challenged him twice and Kirk still won.

    The recent vote has conservative callers enraged. He lost the conservative vote but remember, it IS Illinois.

    I would say his future looks bright.~o)

  9. CZ:

    Kirk represents a very liberal district on the north shore.

    That’s a good reminder of former Speaker Tip O’Neill’s famous dictum: “All politics is local.” In other words, to get elected, Kirk has to meet his constituents’ needs.

    But could he carry Illinois south of Chicago?

  10. Kurt says:

    Dr. Eric Wallace is also running for the U S Senate from Illinois and I think he has a chance of being one of the suprise stories next year. wallaceforillinois.com…check it out!

  11. Ron Russell says:

    Burris is just a wanna-be, a true symbol of Democratic politics in the state. He is a pathetic figure and although I’ll be glad to see him go one cannot help but feel sorry for this old man. He will be better off on his front porch in his rocking chair.

  12. 2Hotel9 says:

    Of course he is going to “retire”. He now has the free healthcare and government pension for life, just for seating a seat and doing absolutely nothing. What a sweeeet deal!!!!!

  13. But could he [Kirk] carry Illinois south of Chicago?

    Why would he need to?