Schakowsky Says She Talked to Governor About Senate Vacancy

Posted November 19, 2008 at 5:05pm

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) confirmed on Wednesday that she also is under consideration by Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) to replace President-elect Barack Obama in the Senate. “I had a long conversation with the governor yesterday,” Schakowsky said late Wednesday afternoon. “There are a number of people he’s considering and I’m certainly on that list.” The embattled Blagojevich, himself a former House Member, has been tight-lipped about possible Obama replacements and a timeline for the process — decisions that are his alone. Schakowsky did say, however, that the governor plans on naming a replacement during the last two weeks of the year. Earlier today, a state Democratic operative confirmed that Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), too, was in talks with the governor. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.’s (D-Ill.) office confirmed on Wednesday that the lawmaker has not spoken with Blagojevich. Schakowsky declined to elaborate on her discussion with the governor, saying that “we mostly just chatted,” but the lawmaker did emphasize her electability in 2010, when Land of Lincoln voters will elect a Senator for a full term. “I certainly think I am electable,” she said. “That’s one of things that I pointed out to him — I have a lot of downstate connections and support from organized labor, seniors and women’s organizations.” “I already have an electoral organization that sent literally thousands of people to Iowa and Indiana in the presidential race, a proven capacity for fundraising and an agenda,” she added. “I made a case that in 2010 — which may not be a fantastic year for Democrats — you want somebody who is a tough campaigner and can hold that seat.” In addition to Schakowsky, Gutierrez and Jackson, the list of other potential Senate picks includes Rep. Danny Davis (D), outgoing state Senate President Emil Jones Jr. (D), and Tammy Duckworth, whom Blagojevich appointed as secretary of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs.