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Schakowsky nixes Senate bid

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Illinois Rep. Jan Schakowsky has decided not to run for the U.S. Senate.

Schakowsky, serving her sixth term in the House of Representatives, will seek re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives next year instead of seeking the Senate seat now held by Roland Burris, like Schakowsky a Democrat.

Schakowsky, who is Jewish, said she believed she could win but did not want to spend the next year fund raising instead of being part of a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make progressive change."

"I decided that I simply couldn’t do it if I mounted a campaign for Senate," she said in a statement released Monday morning.

"I feel confident that I could raise the $10 million needed for a primary race — and the $16 million-plus needed for a general election campaign — but to do it I would have to become a telemarketer five to six hours each day," she said.

A number of Illinois politicians have expressed interest in pursuing the Illinois Senate seat next year, which Barack Obama vacated when he became president.

Burris was appointed to the position by Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich after Blagojevich was arrested for an alleged "pay-to-play" scheme, proposing to possible appointees that they raise money for his re-election campaign in exchange for the position.

Burris, a former judge, has said he did not raise money for Blagojevich, but tapes of phone conversations released by prosecutors last month revealed that Burris did speak to Blagojevich’s brother about raising money for the governor.

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