Lisa Madigan (D)
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (Legal Newsline)- The popular Illinois attorney general has decided to seek another term as the state's chief legal officer, ending months of speculation the Democrat was eyeing higher office for 2010.
Democrat Lisa Madigan, a 42-year-old former state senator now in her second four-year term as AG, said Wednesday that she believes she can affect true change by continuing her work as attorney general.
"Twelve years ago, I chose a career in public service because I wanted to be in a position to truly help people, to protect them and to improve their lives," Madigan said. "I am very fortunate that the people of Illinois have given me the opportunity to do just that."
As attorney general, Madigan has frequently gone up against the banking industry over its lending practices, pharmaceutical companies and insurers.
Last year, Madigan and fellow Democrat California Attorney General Jerry Brown negotiated the landmark $8.4 billion multistate settlement to end claims of predatory lending practices by Countrywide Financial Corp.
"I have used the power of this office to make a real difference in peoples' lives since 2003. And I hope to continue doing just that," Madigan said Wednesday.
Madigan's announcement quelled speculation that she was planning to run for governor or for the U.S. Senate seat held by Roland Burris, who was appointed to the seat by embattled former Gov. Rod Blagojevich before he has ousted from office.
National Democrats say they worry that Burris could lose the seat in 2010 because of his connections to Blagojevich, who was arrested for trying to sell the Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama.
Speculation mounted that Madigan, a daughter of Michael Madigan, the longtime speaker of the Illinois House and the chairman of the state's Democratic Party, was considering a run for the Senate after news broke that she met with Obama and top White House aides last month.
Burris has not said if he will run for a full Senate term in 2010. He has started a campaign committee to explore a run, however. State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias is the only Democrat officially in the Senate race.
From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at firstname.lastname@example.org.