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Schakowsky ramps up interest in Senate race

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WASHINGTON -- Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) is stepping up her interest in running for the Senate in 2010 -- a poll she took shows her in good shape to win a Democratic primary over Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias and Sen. Roland Burris.

Schakowsky told me Sunday she will decide by June 8 whether she will run for the Senate or another term in the House. "The next part is the gut check," she said.

Schakowsky, 64, is in her sixth term and holds a safe seat from her Northwest Side and north suburban district. She is in House leadership and has a national fund-raising network.

Today, she will send an e-mail to supporters as she continues a systematic evaluation of her chances.

"I have 10 years of seniority in the House, I am part of the leadership team, I sit on the key committees deciding our energy, health and national security policies. This is THE year during which great progress can be made. On the other hand, there would be many new and powerful opportunities serving in the United States Senate -- being one of a hundred," the e-mail will state.

Schakowsky pollster Celinda Lake of Lake Research Partners surveyed 600 likely February 2010 Democratic voters April 19-22, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent. A poll shows the race is up for grabs with Schakowky at 24 percent, 22 percent for Giannoulias and 18 percent for Burris, with 36 percent undecided.

An interesting note: The poll -- according to a summary -- showed Giannoulias has better name recognition. Giannoulias has all but declared for the seat, raising a little over $1 million in a month.

Burris was tapped by former Gov. Rod Blagojevich for the seat vacated by President Obama.

Burris is under investigation by the Sangamon County state's attorney -- and the Senate ethics committee -- over whether he gave misleading remarks when questioned about the circumstances leading up to his appointment.

Under fire, Burris has kept public appearances to a minimum. He will surface here today to appear with Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Mayor Daley at the former Republic Windows and Doors. A company called Serious Materials is reopening Republic -- and rehiring the workers -- with an assist from Obama's stimulus package.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on April 27, 2009 6:52 AM.

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