Judge’s Ruling Keeps Burris Out of Special Election

Posted August 2, 2010 at 10:23pm

A U.S. district judge ruled Monday that Illinois candidates qualified to run for a Senate seat will also qualify for a special election for that seat, the Associated Press reported.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge John Grady means that Democratic Sen. Roland Burris will not have the opportunity to serve the final weeks of his appointed term, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Burris was appointed by disgraced former Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) to take the seat previously held by President Barack Obama, but a Chicago alderman won a federal lawsuit arguing that the state was obligated to call a special election and has improperly ignored the statute.

Burris previously told the Sun-Times that he would run in a special election if one were held. But because he is not running in the general election, he will not qualify for the special election under Grady’s ruling.

The special election to finish Burris’ term will be held Nov. 2, which is also the date of the general election. The field will consist of Republican Rep. Mark Kirk, Democrat Alexi Giannoulias and Green Party candidate LeAlan Jones. Other candidates from independent or smaller parties may qualify, the Sun-Times reported.

The winner of the special election will serve until the new Congress convenes Jan. 3.

Josh Kurtz contributed to this report.