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Lisa Madigan nixes Senate or Governor bid. Running for attorney general. What's with Lisa?


Click below....Kirk making Senate calls...

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan will not run for a U.S. Senate seat--despite wooing by President Obama, Rahm Emanuel, Valerie Jarrett, Dick Durbin and the Democratic Senate political operation based in Washington. She will not run for governor. Instead, Madigan is announcing Wednesday afternoon that she is running for another term as Illinois Attorney General.

"She loves her job as attorney general, that's the first reason," said Mary Morrissey, Madigan's political director told me. "Every day she can make a difference."

Madigan is the mother of two young children. In a statement, Durbin, the assistant Senate majority leader--who been strongly urging Madigan to jump in the Senate race said, "Lisa Madigan made the right decision for our state and her family.

"She has been an incredibly capable and effective Attorney General. I look forward to working together with her for the people of Illinois."

Madigan--called the most popular political figure in Illinois by Emanuel, Obama's Chief of Staff--was considered the favorite to win a bid for governor or Senate. Her father is House Speaker Michael J. Madigan (D-Chicago) who is also the boss of the Illinois Democratic Party. He was a crucial factor in her winning her first attorney general race in 2002.

Madigan was spending Wednesday morning calling her network of fund-raisers and supporters with the news.

Madigan did not look forward to having to run in an Illinois Democratic primary--and she would have faced challengers if she went for the Senate or for governor. The White House declined to clear the primary field for Madigan for the Senate--though Emanuel is trying to clear the decks in New York. And Madigan would first have to beat Gov. Quinn--a close friend of Obama advisor David Axelrod--to claim a nomination for governor.

Madigan's decision to stay put allows the political world in Illinois to stabilize and means would be GOP and Democratic hopefuls can now lock in---or drop--plans to run for Senate, governor and attorney general.

Madigan will formally announce her political plans at 2 p.m. central time Wednesday in Chicago at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers.

Madigan has about $3.8 million in her state political warchest she could have used for a run for governor and can use to retain her AG slot. She raised $0 for a federal run.

The immediate political questions:

*Does Chris Kennedy, the Merchandise Mart mogul and Kennedy clan member move ahead with his planned Senate bid? Yes he does.

*Does Comptroller Dan Hynes run for another term or challenge Quinn?

*Over on the GOP side, everyone is waiting for Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) to announce his plans--for senate, governor or another term in the House. I just talked to someone who said Kirk has been making calls this morning to members of the Illinois House delegation saying he is intending to make a Senate run.

*And what of embattled Burris? He will likely--even if it is not official--decide not to run because his latest fund-raising totals, to be released next week, are expected to be anemic. Last quarter he raised just over $800.

*Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias is already running for the Senate and his second quarter fund-raising numbers are expected to be robust. He already has more than $1 million in a Senate warchest.

*Cheryle Jackson, the president of the Chicago Urban League, opened a Senate exploratory committee this week.

Jackson told me she will decide in the coming months if she will officially get in the Illinois Democratic Senate primary and that she is pulling together a fund-raising and campaign team. Jackson told me her decision will not hinge on whether or not Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan gets in the contest.


perhaps she reviewed some of her comments of the past few's called clear thinking.

I think she should run for mayor.

I think Lisa is a smart person! She is doing a great job as the State's Attorney, we would be without someone who is actually making a difference. I am glad that she is not just looking for power and's not worth it! Keep up the good work, we need more of you in our local, county and state governments!

She is a great Attorney General and I wish her well. I was hoping she would run for Governor because we need someone like Lisa who has great ideas and actually works at her job.

She had a plan of action for being our Attorney General and I just know she would have a plan of action as Governor. But she is young and has time on her side.

Guess it is still the "boys club" in Illinois.

I think Lisa has done a bad job in regards to corruption. Other then that I think she has done an adequate job. She can be a lightning rod in this state if she attacks corruption in this state. If she has to attack her father in-law Mike Madigan, then so be it.

It was a backroom political deal and she agreed to stay AG for some unknown payoff down the road for her or her father, or somebody's got something on her or her father and threatened to 'out' her/him if she sought anything other than re-election to AG. Or a combination of both scenarios. For the record, I do like her. Its just that's the way things are done.

I'm disappointed with her decision. She'd make an excellent U.S. Senator or Governor.

I believe that the governors mansion would be perfect for you. I like what you have been doing for the people and I think you have the experience to use the office to make a big difference. It's a big loss for us.

Now if we can get Chicago Inspector General David Hoffman to run against this do nothing, waste of space, Daddy's little protector, Lisa Madagan, and win, then we can start cleaning up this state corruption.

1. Geez just how many of Mike Madigan's downtown and westside buildings have been used by the City, the County and the State to house "temporary" functions?

2. What was the price per square foot paid and what was the price per square foot for the nearby compariables? Does this gap constitute the legal definition of fraud?

3. Why are inspectors and foreman in city employment who are caught in fraud, then quietly moved over to the CTA, without punishment. CTA is the bastion of how many precinct captains of little Mikie Madigan?

Just askin. Enjoy your remaining days as Illinois Attorney General, honey, where the only difference you're making is more profit for Daddy.

Madigan did not look forward to having to run in an Illinois Democratic primary--and she would have faced challengers if she went for the Senate or for governor. The White House declined to clear the primary field for Madigan for the Senate--though Emanuel is trying to clear the decks in New York.

It bothers me when a party is dictating in any state the candidates voters have to choose from by CLEARING THE PRIMARY FIELD.. as a Democrat until 2006 I finally know how come I had to hold my nose to vote in so many elections. I think the PEOPLE not the politicians are smart enough to select from several candidates..
It's not a Boys Club in IL it's a CLOSED CLUB IN IL.

I am disappointed. She is smart, has good values, actually believes that good public policy counts, and knows how to work the levers of government. Illinois really needed her as Governor. Maybe next time around.

I smell smoke -- the same kind of smoke coming from Wasilla, Alaska. SHe's been intent on running for higher office for years and then she suddenly bows out now? I don't buy the selfless angle. Maybe a run for senate, as Obama was pushing, would bring unwanted national attention on dad. Maybe polls show the state doesn't want a single family controlling the government.

I want her to run for Governor!!! What is she doing. Quinn has been a complete disappointment. He has no interest in learning and understanding all industries in Illinois. Where is the stimulus $ going?

I wonder if a mayoral bid has been in the cards all along. Daley's going to be 68 next year and he could probably stay on until they wheel him out like his old man. But I really can't think of a better candidate with the potential for automatic national recognition than Lisa Madigan if Daley decides to pack it up.


Lisa Madigan is a pretty good lawyer, among some of the best attorneys general and other lawyers Illinois has had, including lawyer Abraham Lincoln. Oddly prescient was her slot/position in the June 28 Chicago gay pride parade. She marched in the line immediately after the float whose banner said, "Illinois has a history of some pretty good lawyers." The banner included a larger-than-life face picture of Abraham Lincoln. Enough said. See the photo of her in the parade at

Mary Ann

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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 July 8, 2009 9:38 AM.

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