Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) will not run for the U.S. Senate. The Jewish Democrat announced in a press release this morning that she believed she could win a race for the seat now held by Democrat Roland Burris (and previously by Barack Obama), but the fundraising would have taken up too much time when so much else was happening:
I feel confident that I could raise the $10 million dollars 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.
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.
Schakowsky will run for re-election in the House.
Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times has the scoop on who else is consdering running for the Illinois Senate seat:
The Democratic field is still taking shape, while Republican Party leaders in Illinois are focusing on persuading Rep. Mark Kirk 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.