There is no shortage of candidates.
Speculation, so far, has centered on two African-American Chicago congressmen, Jesse Jackson Jr. and Danny Davis; Illinois Senate President Emil Jones, who is nearing retirement and maybe wouldn’t run for reelection in 2010; Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Evanston; Rep. Luis Gutierrez of Chicago; and two potential challengers to Blagojevich in 2010, state Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias.
The state’s senior US senator, Richard Durbin (D), meanwhile, has supported Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq war veteran who ran an unsuccessful congressional bid four years ago and who heads Illinois’s Veterans Affairs Department.
Representative Jackson has made it clear he’d like the job, commissioning and circulating a Zogby poll that revealed him as the favorite among 10 possible candidates and that showed him having a good chance at being reelected in two years.
Blagojevich has so far played his hand closely, saying only that he hopes to choose a successor by Christmas and that he is uninterested in naming himself Illinois’s next senator.