Illinois: Kennedy Dynasty May Blow Into Windy City

Posted April 29, 2009 at 6:35pm

Businessman Chris Kennedy (D) is thinking about running for Senate in 2010, according to several Chicago news sources.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported that the son of the late Sen. Robert Kennedy (D-N.Y.) is very close to getting in the race, pending poll results that are expected to come at the end of the week.

State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias is the only announced Democrat in the race for the seat currently held by appointed Sen. Roland Burris (D). Burris, who was appointed by former Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) before Blagojevich was indicted on 19 counts of corruption, has not said yet if he plans to run for a full term.

But Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D) told supporters earlier this week that she was looking into a bid, including releasing a poll that showed her in a statistical dead heat with Giannoulias. Schakowsky said she would make a decision by June 8.

A recent Public Policy Polling survey showed Giannoulias as the frontrunner in the race: he led Schakowsky, 38 percent to 26 percent, with Burris at 16 percent and 21 percent of voters undecided.

Giannoulias also led Burris in a two-way matchup, 49 percent to 20 percent, with 30 percent undecided. Burris scored poorly with survey respondents, earning a 27 percent approval and a 49 percent disapproval rating.

Kennedy was not tested in the poll. The automated poll surveyed 415 Democratic primary voters April 24-26 and had a margin of error of 5 points.

Among Republicans, Rep. Mark Kirk is seriously considering a Senate bid.

Bond First to Jump Into Race for Kirk’s Seat

State Sen. Michael Bond (D) announced Wednesday that he will run for the 10th district seat currently held by Rep. Mark Kirk (R).

“After speaking with people in our communities, listening to their ideas and hearing their concerns, I’ve decided to run for Congress,— Bond said in a statement.

Kirk is considering running for Senate in 2010, which would create a tempting open-seat opportunity in his Democratic-leaning Northside Chicago district. President Barack Obama won Kirk’s district with 61 percent in 2008, making it a prime pickup opportunity for Democrats if he leaves the House.

Bond is the first of what is expected to be a handful of Democrats running in the 10th district.

Democrats’ 2006 and 2008 nominee, marketing consultant Dan Seals, has indicated he will run for the seat again if it’s an open-seat contest. State Sen. Susan Garrett (D) is also considering a campaign.