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Roland Burris will not Seek Re-Election in 2010

July 14, 2009

RolandBurrisHat tip Chicago Sun-Times

ByLynn Sweet

Sen. Roland Burris (D-Illl.) will not run for election in 2010–a not surprising decision given that Burris, appointed by ousted Gov. Blagojevich to fill the seat vacated by Barack Obama had never created a political organization, raised virtually no campaign cash, and faced controversy from the start.

Burris’ decision, reported by my Sun-Times colleague Michael Sneed, was fueled in large part by his anemic fund-raising efforts, which will become public next week. Burris will make it official during a speech he will deliver in Chicago Friday afternoon.

When we talked in May about whether he would run, Burris told me, I asked Burris about his timetable for deciding if he will run. “Lynn . . . if you don’t have money, whether or not you say you are going to run is not relevant. . . . You take away your option.”

Burris wanted to jump in the 2010 election, despite longshot odds, and made the rounds of Democratic heavies in May, but none offered him any support. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)–who suggested he resign the seat because of the circumstances surrounding his appointment by Blagojevich, tried to recruit Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to run for the Senate seat. Madigan on Wednesday said she instead will seek a third term as attorney general.

On the day I talked to Burris about his political prospects — May 19 — Burris met with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to discuss his future. Earlier, he conferred with Sen. Robert Menendez, the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. And the day before — May 18 — Burris called on William Daley.
In the end, Burris sealed his own fate. He had $845 in a 2010 fund from his first quarter fund-raising and the second quarter yielded just about $20,000.

Burris will serve out the remainder of the six-year term President Obama was elected to in 2004.
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