Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is under pressure from top Democrats to abandon her long-expected campaign for governor and instead seek President Barack Obama's former U.S. Senate seat next year, a switch she's seriously considering, say officials in Washington and Chicago.
Madigan's political director, Mary Morrissey, said Tuesday that Madigan will probably decide "within four to six weeks" whether to run for governor, Senate, or a third term as attorney general.
"They're all still real possibilities," said Morrissey, who confirmed that Madigan is being nudged toward Washington.
"'Pressure' is a funny word — it has negative connotations to it. … But she has been receiving contact from the Democratic (Senatorial Campaign) Committee … and calls from Democratic members of the Senate," Morrissey said. She declined to say which senators have called.
Others who are closely attuned to the jockeying for the Illinois seat say bluntly that top Democrats want Madigan to run for the Senate seat, in part because they want to settle quickly on a strong party candidate to get the focus off the embattled incumbent, Democratic Sen. Roland Burris.