Former Commerce Secretary William Daley is taking a close look at the Illinois U.S. Senate seat vacated by President Obama, according to a report in The Hill.
If he runs, Daley, co-chairman of Obama’s presidential campaign and transition team, would probably lead any pack of candidates seeking to topple controversial Sen. Roland Burris, D-Ill., who was appointed to fill out Obama’s term by Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Meanwhile, some telltale signs of an imminent Senate run by Daley have cropped up – including his declaration that he will not seek the governor’s post in 2010 and the intelligence garnered by the Chicago Sun-Times that a Daley advocate has reserved several websites for Daley’s use.
For his part, Burris has not announced yet if he will run for a full term once his appointment ends.
Daley’s brother, Richard, is the mayor of Chicago and heads a political machine that would give his younger brother a big boost in the Democratic primary, according to The Hill report.
Illinois’ primary, scheduled for February of 2010, usually has candidates scrambling early.
Daley is also talking about the race with a couple of first-line political consultants, according to The Hill: Larry Grisolano, Obama’s director of paid media and opinion research during the campaign, and pollster John Anzalone – a veteran of handling surveys for Democratic candidates around the country.
Currently, Daley is an officer in the Midwestern office of J.P. Morgan Chase.
Democrat Alexi Giannoulias is also eyeing a Senate run – and according to the Sun-Times is the reason that Daley floated his name last week with regard to the seat; in order to head off Giannoulias in securing early endorsements - as is Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., who maneuvered to get the appointment given to Burris.
An aide to Giannoulias told The Hill that Daley’s entry would by no means signal an end to the race.
Meanwhile Daley has stayed distant from Blagojevich, but, according to the Hill report, Republicans may bash Daley for his ties to another tainted politician, former House Ways and Means Committee chairman Dan Rostenkowski.
Daley worked in the 1980s lobbying for insurance providers who had issues before Rostenkowski’s committee.
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