Chicago Sun-Times
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Schakowsky, after exploring Senate bid, will run for House again.

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(Updated with video Monday morning)

WASHINGTON -- After exploring a Senate run, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) told me Sunday she instead will seek another term in the House.

Schakowsky had set today as her deadline for deciding whether to jump into the Democratic primary.

She told me a statewide contest "would have been very exciting," but she wanted to take advantage of "this moment in history" to use her House leadership position -- she is part of Speaker Nancy Pelosi's inner circle -- to work on pending health care and energy legislation.

While testing the waters, Schakowsky's polling pointed to her having a "strong chance" of winning a Senate race. But she said the time it would take to raise the $10 million needed for the primary and another $16 million for the general election would basically leave her absent for House committee and floor work.

In a statement to be released today, Schakowsky, an Evanston resident first elected to Congress in 1998, said the time requirements to raise the millions of dollars need to run in the Senate contest would have turned her into "a telemarketer five to six hours each day."

"Over the next two years, Congress has the opportunity to provide health care to all Americans, begin on the road to energy independence, remake the financial regulatory system, pass immigration reform and help transform our relationship with the rest of the world. I think the next two years present a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make progressive change. I want to devote my energy to help make these things a reality, and decided that I simply couldn't do it if I mounted a campaign for Senate," her statement said.

The Democratic field is still taking shape, while Republican Party leaders in Illinois are focusing on persuading Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) to get in the race, with no major figure in place for a plan "B."

The drama on the Democratic side is centering on whether Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan will run for governor or the Senate. Senate Democratic leaders have been recruiting Madigan, but in recent weeks she has been raising political money that could not be used in a federal race.

State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias is already running and raising money for a Senate election, although he has not made a formal announcement. Merchandise Mart mogul Chris Kennedy has been organizing his campaign.

Sen. Roland Burris is in terrible shape to run --he hasn't raised any significant money and has a Senate ethics inquiry and a Sangamon County state's attorney probe hanging over him, stemming from whether he gave misleading statements about contacts he had with former Gov. Rod Blagojevich before Blagojevich appointed him to the seat once held by President Obama.

Others mulling a run are City of Chicago Treasurer Stephanie D. Neely and Chicago Urban League Chief Cheryle R. Jackson.

5 Comments

When considering whether or not to vote for Rep. Schakowsky's re-election, I hope everyone will take a look at her handiwork, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA). You can find out more at http://cpsc.gov/about/cpsia/cpsia.html and at http://whatisthecpsia.com . This law has made it illegal to sell children's clothing with zippers and snaps at yard sales, requires cash-strapped libraries to destroy large portions of their children's book collections, and has resulted in $4 BILLION in losses so far, with more to come in August as more implementation deadlines kick in. If you feel this cost is worth increasing the perception of toy safety without increasing actual safety one whit, please vote for Ms. Schakowsky's re-election. She is so proud of this law she helped craft that she even writes nasty letters to bloggers who dare to question it.

this person may not even be able to cling on to her house seat...lol. this at least demonstrates some sense of reason.
perhaps should she work on that jump shot the oba might find a home for her.

All I have to say is research before you vote for anyone. People who are career politicians are rather self righteous and what they research and get behind is what law to craft that will get them re-elected. Their laws and intentions sound good on the surface and in the media because of how they spin it but in reality they hurt many people. My company has been through the ringer with regard to a law that The Honorable Ms. Schakowsky was a part of. That is the CPSIA (consumer product safety improvement act). This law does not save children and it is killing businesses and yet Ms. Schakowsky does nothing to address the issues of businesses being affected. We make safe products but will have to continually test them for toxic elements that they don't contain.

Even today as we speak the legislation Ms. Schakowsky is so proud of has caused books printed prior to 1985 to be illegal because they may have been printed with lead in the ink. A child would have to sit down and eat multiple books in a sitting to have it even be something to worry about. If one's child is doing that one would have bigger problems.

If you are reading this, considering voting for someone new or for term limits so that we don't have career politicians in the future. There is a reason a President can only be in office for two terms.

Oh geez, she might not win her House seat that she's held since 1999? If he'd bothered to check, he'd realize that she has never gotten less than 70% of the vote in any of her elections.

Does the commenter above have any shred of evidence or any plausible story of how and why Schakowsky would lose her House seat in a D+20 district? Or is it his dislike of her that caused him to make such a laughably ridiculous statement?

I DON'T BLAME HER, THIS SEAT IS TAINTED AND IT
IS GOING TO TAKE AWHILE TO GET THE TAINT OFF OF
THIS SENATE SEAT, IT IS NOT WORTH LEAVING THE
CONGRESS FOR, BUT BLAGO AND BURRIS KNEW THIS WHEN
THEY GOT TOGETHER, WHOMEVER TAKES OVER THIS SEAT,
WILL NEED A SEAT CUSHION THE REST OF THEIR TIME
IN OFFICE, BETTER YET, GET KNEW FURNITURE!

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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 June 7, 2009 11:12 PM.

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