Madigan considers run for U.S. Senate

Chris Rizo May 11, 2009, 2:58pm

Lisa Madigan (D)

Alexi Giannoulias (D)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (Legal Newsline)-Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is reportedly considering a run for the U.S. Senate.

Sources told The Washington Post that the Democrat is eying a move to Washington rather than running for governor in 2010.

The report comes as Gov. Pat Quinn rides high in the polls after replacing former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, and a separate poll by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee indicating Madigan would handily win the Senate seat currently held by Roland Burris, who was appointed by Blagojevich to fill the vacancy left by President Barack Obama.

For his part, Burris has been mum on his future political plans. Madigan is a former Illinois state senator.

The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza noted Monday that there are at least two things that would keep Madigan from a Senate run.

First, she has more than $4 million in her state campaign account that cannot be used for a federal-level race; and second, she wants to be governor.

If Madigan does decide to run for the Senate, Cillizza noted that she would likely eclipse the current Democratic frontrunner, state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias.

Madigan would have significant political muscle behind her campaign since the Democratic establishment would likely back her. She is the daughter of Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan, D-Chicago, and a political force in her own right.

She was just narrowly elected in 2002 with 50.4 percent support, and was re-elected resoundingly in 2006 with more than 74 percent of the vote.

Early last year, The New York Times considered Madigan to be among the 17 most likely women to become the first female U.S. president if then-Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York failed to win her party's nomination and the general election.

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