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|2 Senate Elections Will Officially Happen
|Vote early, vote often. It's an old joke in Illinois politics but state residents will be choosing twice in November to fill President Barack Obama's former Senate seat.
Gov. Pat Quinn filed paperwork Thursday calling a special election to fill the seat, all because of a long-running lawsuit that says it should have been done almost two years ago. Lawyers headed back to court to hash out who will be on the ballot and try to minimize the confusion for voters.
This much is clear: People will pick one senator to serve a six-year term in the regular election, and another to serve the final weeks of Obama's old term in a special election. The short-timer would serve from after the November election until the new senator is inaugurated in January.
A dual election sets up the remote possibility that one candidate could win the regular election and another could win the special election, adding to the drama around a Senate seat that has already been in the news for much of the time since Obama was elected.
Impeached Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich was charged with trying to sell or trade the appointment to the Senate to enrich himself. He has pleaded not guilty in a case that went to the jury this week.
Federal Judge John Grady was still sorting out on Thursday who would be on the ballot. He seemed to favor allowing candidates who qualified for the regular election by winning the February primary or being certified for the ballot after collecting 25,000 signatures.
That would include Democrat Alexi Giannoulias, currently Illinois' treasurer, Republican Congressman Mark Kirk and the Green Party's LeAlan Jones, who all won their parties' primaries.
But it would seem to exclude Democrat Roland Burris, who has held the seat since he was appointed by Blagojevich in late 2008. He didn't run in the February primary because he chose not to seek a full term.
(Illinois Radio Network)
|07 29 10 by Newsroom
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