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.