Finished with the State Senate, Jones Eyes Obama's Seat

Outgoing Senate President says he's interested in Obama's Senate seat

It's been bantered about, but not until yesterday had outgoing Illinois Senate President Emil Jones actually said he would like President-elect Barack Obama's U.S. Senate seat.

Appearing as a guest on WBBM-AM's "At Issue" program, Jones said, "Yes, I am interested.''

Obama's replacement should be black, Jones said, because otherwise the U.S. Senate will be all-white.

"Barack would not be there had [it] not been for an Emil Jones,'' the Sun-Times quoted Alderman Carrie Austin (34th) as saying at a Sunday news conference to push Jones.

Gov. Blagojevich decides who'll fill the spot, which may bode well for Jones, who has been a strong ally of the governor's.

"What Blagojevich will be looking for is a political ally – someone who will be grateful for the chance to serve in the U.S. Senate, even if for only two years," Gregory Tejeda wrote in Monday's Sun-Times.

In addition to the Senate President, however, rumor is that Blago is considering U.S. Rep. Danny Davis, state veterans' affairs chief Tammy Duckworth, U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky.

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