Jackson: May the Best Man Get Obama’s Seat

Posted November 17, 2008 at 2:21pm

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) said Monday that he doesn’t think “it’s that important at all” that President-elect Barack Obama’s Senate seat be filled by an African-American.

Jackson, whose name has been floated as a possible Obama successor, said on MSNBC that Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) should pick someone for the seat “objectively,” and who best represents the interests of the state.

Obama was the only African-American Senator in the 110th Congress and is the fifth in U.S. history. He officially resigned his Senate seat on Sunday.

Another contender for Obama’s seat, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), said Saturday that he thinks race shouldn’t be the main consideration in naming Obama’s replacement.

“The quicker we get away from … simply referring to elected officials by the color of their skin and their national origin, the better [for] this country,” Gutierrez told reporters at a Chicago immigration event.