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RealClearPolitics Politics Nation Blog

 

Blog Home Page --> House -- Illinois -- 01

If Rush Retires, Many Are Ready

Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) had a cancerous tumor removed some three months ago and has been seen little on Capitol Hill since. The possibility that the eight-term congressman could retire from his Chicago-based seat has a number of would-be candidates waiting cautiously in the wings, the Chicago Sun-Times' Laura Washington writes.

Barack Obama once coveted the Chicago seat, challenging and losing to Rush in the 2000 Democratic primary. The candidates that Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed reported last month who were interested in the job include Seventh Ward Alderman Sandi Jackson (the wife of Second District Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.), Sixth Ward Alderman Freddrenna Lyle and Carolyn Rush, Bobby's wife.

Washington writes in her column today that the list of potential candidates is much longer than that. It also includes: Fourth Ward Alderman Toni Preckwinkle, State Senator Kwame Raoul, State Senator James Meeks and State Senator Jacqueline Collins.

If Rush does decide not to return to Congress, there would not be a Democratic primary. Rather, the First District committee would gather and choose a candidate for the general election. Rush won the primary, held on February 5, by a wide margin.

As Washington writes, "The party insiders will cut a shady deal and pick their own hack. That person will win, be able to serve a full, two-year term and will be difficult to dislodge the next time around."

Still, after Sneed's column ran last month, Rush maintained he had no intention of retiring. "I am and I remain a candidate for re-election in the November general election and look forward to serving the people of my district," he said in a statement.

--Kyle Trygstad